Pat's Open Road

PAT O'DONNELL

CEO
Aspen Skiing Company

“I get excited because I'm passionate about life, I really am. It can be so good; it can be so good.”

INTERESTS:

Action Sports

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Choices Courage Desire Experience Family Fear Instincts Money & Financial Security Passion Risk Self-Reflection Struggle Values Transitions Education

TAGS:

avalanche, business, Colorado, death, engineering, escape, frustration, henry david thoreau, Keystone mountains, loss, mountain climbing, outcome, reflection, rock climbing, sailing, seeing the light, ski resort, what if, Yosemite, Yosemite National Park

BIOGRAPHY:

Pat's father encouraged him to become an engineer and join the family business. However, by the age of twenty-seven, Pat realized engineering wasn't right for him. Pat couldn't take his nine-to-five job anymore. He quit and went Yosemite National Park, looking for work. At first, the corporate office of Yosemite wanted him for management, but he refused. Pat wanted to be in the outdoors, climbing. Finally, he was offered a job as a bellman, for ninety cents an hour, where he was able to climb six hours a day. After a few years of enjoying his dream-like life in Yosemite, Pat faced reality. From Yosemite, Pat progressed to Lake Tahoe, where he helped build the Kirkwood ski area. Because of his exceptional work in Lake Tahoe, he got a job in Colorado as chief operating officer in charge of ski operations at a resort. The perk about Colorado was that his job allowed Pat to pursue climbing; Pat's passion had graduated into Himalayan climbing. On an excursion climbing the eighth highest mountain in the world, Annapurna, Pat hit serious problems.An avalanche killed three of his best friends and Pat spent 3 months ill afterward. So pursuing a fantasy, Pat quit his job, cashed out everything he had, got a sail boat, and sailed away. After a year and a half, Pat came back to dry land and became C.E.O. of Aspen Skiing Company.

Send us your feedback

(all fields are required)