Andy Wirth: Alive and Kicking

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Posted by LLJ43 | Posted in Alive and Kicking, Amazing Tales, Outdoorsmen | Posted on 28-07-2015

It’s not often in today’s world one finds a life filled with adventure that doesn’t come from the silver screen. Andy Wirth has that kind of life. Born in West Germany, with university work from Colorado to Scotland, Wirth took his education and decided to break the mold. 

The wilderness is in his blood, being the grandson of the former Director of the US National Park Service, Conrad Wirth, and the great-grandson of Theodore Wirth, former Minneapolis Superintendent of Parks. With that background it was natural for him to gravitate to the outdoors, and so he did, working as a backcountry ranger for the Rocky Mountain National Parks and a wilderness ranger in the San Pedro Parks Wilderness Area. 

Then he made the move into the hospitality industry. It would prove to be momentous. The list of prestigious jobs held is long and distinguished, including chief marketing officer and executive vice president of sales and marketing of Steamboat Ski and Resort, and president and CEO of both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. That love of the outdoors didn’t just color his business life, but his personal life as well. He has served and is still serving on many sporting club and fire protection boards, often being promoted to a leadership role. 

His relationship with the wilderness has not always been peaceful. While skydiving in October 2013, a disorienting moment in the air led to a bad landing, severing his arm. His previous training allowed him to treat the wound enough to keep him alive, but it was singing Eddie Vedder’s “Just Breathe” that allowed him to keep his head. After surgery and intense physical therapy, his arm was his once again.

That event was not enough to kill his passion for the outdoors, and he still keeps to his trailblazing ways, taking part in the Ironman 70.3 in 2014. For most, the life described so far would be enough. Time to roll credits and sit back and relax. Not for Andy Wirth. He still has things to do.