They are the prototype young, outdoor-oriented family — tuned to all aspects of life in Pagosa Country and enjoying all seasons. Especially winter.
Jon and Ivy King, their 20-month-old son, Ryder, and their dog, Chugach, are in the perfect place, given what they love to do and whom they love to do it with.
Jon is the director of the ski school at Wolf Creek Ski Area. He was born in Doylestown, Penn., but came west to Colorado for college in Steamboat Springs. From Steamboat, Jon came to Pagosa and began work at Wolf Creek in 1997. An alpine skier, telemark skier, backcountry skier, snowboarder and snowmobiler, Jon found his home.
Pagosa has been Ivy’s home for nearly all her life. Moving here with her family in 1986, she attended Pagosa schools and spent as much of her time outdoors as possible, in all seasons. In the winter, it was skiing and snowboarding, with Wolf Creek her “second home.” After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and spending seven years in the entertainment business in Los Angeles, it was time to get back to the place, and the man, her heart desired.
Ryder came into the world ready for the same kind of outdoor action his parents love, and he has already shown signs of being an enthusiastic participant in winter sports.
“I love the serenity of the mountains, the slow pace in town,” says Jon. “We have great friends and family here, and we love the snow in these beautiful, vast mountains. We get out as often as possible; whether it’s to ski, snowboard or snowmobile.
”Growing up here,” says Ivy, “I loved the feeling the community gave you. It was like the community was your family and you were being embraced by everyone. We didn’t have everything at our fingertips and we had to go out and find productive things to do in nature. It forced us to love nature — hiking, camping, snowboarding. I came back for all these reasons. And now, in the winter, I can smell the smoke from the wood stoves and enjoy the crisp, cold air that makes you feel so alive. I am where I was meant to be.”
As for Ryder, he took his first runs as a 3-month-old down the slopes at Wolf Creek, snug in a pack on his father’s chest. And, last winter, he made his first, short runs on a snowboard.
Chugach is always ready for winter — ready to chase snowballs and launch himself into the deep powder.