Episode 18: Lonny Vanatta – Backcountry Bulldog

Being slighted by the US Ski Team in 1978, Lonny Vanatta spent the rest of his career trying to prove something and that he did. Turning pro he became the top American on the world pro ski racing tour for many years. He won 20 races and won the slalom title in 1980 – finishing 3rd overall in the season title.

Even though he was smaller in stature and weight than most of his competition, he had the heart of a lion that many people feared. His success was profound and was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 2018. Throughout his career, his passion for hunting was paramount, as intense as it was for smashing his competitors on a race hill.

His archery stone sheep in 1989 was the largest Pope and Young sheep ever killed at the time. He completed the grand slam of North American sheep – only the 54th bowhunter at the time to do so. He has 34 Pope and Young animals to his name. Lonny recently sold his successful outfitting business of 31 years.

Vanatta is a cancer survivor but continues to attack life the only way he knows, head on – a true inspiration to all.