When Snowbird opened in 1971, Junior Bounous was named as head of the ski school. It was a natural choice. Bounous was a native Utahn and he had learned to be a ski instructor under Alf Engen at Alta, eventually becoming Alf’s assistant. Bounous would serve as the head of the Snowbird ski school and then Director of Skiing until 2015 when he retired at age 89. He still skis today at age 91 and in fact, was seen skiing some spring crud at Snowbird this past week!
So what is Junior Bounous’ real first name? Bob DiMario was quick with the correct answer. Junior has no real first name! He was born the youngest of six children in a farm family in Provo, Utah. They were too busy to come up with a first name when he was born so the birth certificate simply said “Boy Bounous.” Being the youngest in the family, he quickly picked up the unofficial name “Junior” and it stuck.
Bob DiMario also shared a Junior story. The late Stu Campbell credited Junior with teaching Stu to ski powder. Junior told Stu “point them straight down the hill until you reach terminal velocity and then start to turn!”
I also heard from Lyndall Heyer who used to race with Junior’s son Steve. Steve is the Executive Director of the Snowbird Ski Education Foundation which coordinates the Snowbird racing program.
One final thing regarding Junior Bounous. He and Jim McConkey were the first to ski Snowbird’s Pipeline. Pipeline is a hike-to, “no fall”, extreme shot that is on Snowbird’s trail map. It’s only open a few days in a season. Back in 2005 when he was almost 80, Junior skied the Pipeline!
This wraps up another RetroSki season. Thanks to all who read and support the column! So see you next ski season!