The Best Shuttle Driver in Telluride

Himay Palmer drives the bus, and his life, with truth and wisdom

This interview originally ran in POWDER’s November 2015 issue, Vol. 44 No. 3, as part of our Salt department. It is intended to share truth and wisdom from those who have lived the life of skiing. —Ed.

From skier dad to Sasquatch, Himay Palmer finds clear vision on snow. Photo: Brett Schreckengost
From skier dad to Sasquatch, Himay Palmer finds clear vision on snow. Photo: Brett Schreckengost

NAME: Himay Palmer
AGE: 57
LOCATION: Telluride, Colorado
OCCUPATION: Shuttle driver/painter
ROOTS: A product of suburban Midwest skiing at Wisconsin’s Majestic Hill, Himay Palmer moved to Telluride in 1985. He has since become a fixture there while living in nearby Ophir with his wife and 16-year-old son. Those closest to him say he embodies the work-to-ski lifestyle, running a painting crew all summer while clocking in for the night shift as a shuttle driver during the ski season. He is recognized as often for his Sasquatch-like yelp echoing through the trees on a powder day as he is for a ski style all his own, milking every run, leaving behind beautiful, distinguished tracks.

My earliest memories in life are of skiing. They’re vague memories, but I remember the cold and the squeak of the snow. I fell in love with it. They were humble beginnings, but I’m proud of them.

There’s nothing like working after a good day of skiing. You’ve just got that glow. The energy from the day gets me through work.

I meet all kinds of people on the bus. I love meeting people. I don’t tell them exactly where to ski, but I don’t mind sharing a little. The only way to keep getting it is to give it away.

Skiers are like fingerprints—each one is a little different and unique.

My son, Cedar, is an amazing skier. It brings tears to my eyes to see him ski and love it. I can’t even keep up anymore. It gives me immense joy to know he has the opportunity to walk out his door and ski every day.

You can buy all these material things, but you can’t take them with you when you go. The most meaningful things in life are the experiences. The friends and the relationships you make along the journey are what really count.

There are no bad ski days. Even if the snow is crummy and it’s gnarly outside, how can it be a bad day when you’re on skis?

Skiing is a miracle. It’s all a gift. If I’ve got a heart beating in my chest, I’ve got an amazing life. There are people struggling all over the world. I’ve got it easy.

The Sasquatch yell—it’s a joyous release from inside. We all have different ways of expressing ourselves; sometimes I’m just having so much fun, I let it out.

If more people ski, it’s for the better. Being outside works its magic—the mountains shape us. We’re supposed to be outside. We’re animals, and all animals play.