Mark Hanson – We Will Miss You!

Mark Hanson
For our Dad upon his Retirement:

Mark Hanson. The man, the myth, the kicka## Ski School Director. A legend on the Targhee slopes, in the Ski School, and in a Sasquatch costume.

Mark is recognized as the Tall Man by everyone, as “Boss Man” to some, as the kind and incredible Ski & Snowboard School Director of Grand Targhee, and as Dad to us.

It’s always been fun to go skiing and see him in his element as teacher, boss, and leader. We don’t think we’ve ever seen someone more dedicated, passionate, and fulfilled by what they do.


Dad moved to Teton Valley in ‘92 with our mom, Nell, to play ski bums for a year. This beautiful vortex of a place has kept them here, living abundant lives, raising two daughters, and leading to 29 high-flying years at Grand Targhee.

He’s been the best man for the job, and has always put his heart into his work. Every season he’s come home sporting his deepening goggle tan, talking of new projects and of wonderful people he’d taught that day from all around the world.

mark hanson festival

He’s developed and fostered countless programs over the years, like Big Cats & Bob Cats, ‘Knowledge is Powder’ Camps, the Kids’ Fun Zone, Start Me Up Packages and our personal favorite, Winter Sports for local schools. He’s also helped his team—somewhere near 500 instructors have been certified or accredited by PSIA during his tenure.

He’s sweated it out running the camp gate during the summer Music Festivals and biking to and from Targhee an impressive amount.

Under his guidance and with the support of his wonderful team, the Ski & Snowboard School has broken record after record in lesson sales and guest satisfaction as the years have gone on, even during a global pandemic.

He’ll show off his goofy annual ski pass photos if you ask and share hilarious stories of pranks with the friendly rival, Ski Patrol.  His office is a magnificent collage of decades of photos and mementos.

He can help even the most seasoned skiers and is a veteran emcee for all of Targhee’s events.

When riding on the chair lift, Dad always shouts “who needs chocolate?” and pieces appear like magic from his coat to brighten up everyone on long ski days.

He has brought kindness, integrity, and playfulness to a job and community he’s loved for 29 years. It’s been an honor to witness our dad live his dream career. It’s full of inspiration and lessons in heart and humor and grace. But for us it especially sings of love.

Mark Hanson, the man who teaches as he lives: Find what you love to do and pour your heart into it. Watch it grow from that love.

What an accomplishment. Congratulations Papa!

Tait and Lydia Hanson


Mark and Gene Palmer
Mark Hanson - The Man