April 18 2016

Andy Wirth: Adventurer, Philanthropist, Survivor

During his time as CEO of Squaw Valley Ski, Andy Wirth transformed the company through major renovations and the acquisition of Alpine Meadows Ski, a neighboring resort, resulting in the formation of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. His dynamic business savvy, combined with a love for the outdoors and all things adrenaline provoking, made Andy the best candidate for turning a well known ski resort North of Lake Tahoe into a premiere destination for skiers and snowboarders from all over the country.

During one outing in the Fall of 2013 however, Andy learned that nature can deal lows as well as highs. An article at WSJ, reported that Andy Wirth had just recently taken up skydiving with a close friend and had developed a bit of an addiction. He had managed to get quite a few jumps under his belt but, unfortunately, no amount of experience could have prepared him for the series of unfortunate events that unfolded.

After their pilot overshot their drop zone and he waited too long to deploy his shoot, Andy was forced to attempt to land in a vineyard. Although he did initially manage to align himself with an open area, a gust of wind knocked him off course just before he cleared the vines and he collided with a metal pole.

Andy Wirth’s arm was severed and he was bleeding out but, using his own fist as a tourniquet and singing a Pearljam song to stave off shock, he was able to survive and even remain coherent until help arrived. 23 surgeries later, Andy Wirth returned to work with his arm reattached and a new sense of determination to get back to the outdoors.

He formed a team, the Special Warfare Warriors, and began training for the Ironman 70.3, raising nearly $40,000 for the Navy Seal Foundation. Andy has since quit skydiving, but he will never lose his love for the outdoors.

Read more here: http://tahoetopia.com/news/interview-squaw-valley-ceo-andy-wirth