Utah man, 63, set to break skiing world record

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OGDEN — A Utah man is on his way to a Guinness World Record on the slopes of Snowbasin.

Tom Hart says the best part of his day is when he gets to put on his skis for the first run.

"It's fun from the very start of the day to the very end," he said.

Right there with him is his buddy, Jay Lell. "Bell to bell, 9 (a.m.) to 4 p.m., every single day," Lell said.

Trying to beat the crowd, the two are also trying to beat the clock. "It's good to get down to the next lift and be the first one there … today will be 147 of the last 148 days," Hart said.

So close to the end of the season, Hart is on his way to setting the Guinness World Record for the most vertical feet skied in a single year.

"In about August or September, I crunched the numbers and I thought, 'I think I can do that,'" Hart said.

A Utah man is on his way to setting a world record for vertical feet skied in one season on the slopes of Snowbasin.
A Utah man is on his way to setting a world record for vertical feet skied in one season on the slopes of Snowbasin. (Photo: John Wilson, KSL-TV)

That is the distance skied from top to bottom of a run's lift. "So, I've skied down this hill over (2,300) times this year," said Hart, who has earned the nickname "Racer Tom."

The last world record was set around a decade ago. At 63 years old, he passed that mark weeks ago.

Beating the current world record by about 1 million vertical feet and coming up on 7 million, he has skied almost 7,000 miles this season.

"The goal is to reach 7 million vertical feet, which I will do (Friday)," Hart said. That is like skiing down the Empire State Building 5,600 times.

"He's set the vertical feet record right at our home mountain at Snowbasin," Lell said.

However you want to look at it, Racer Tom will humbly just point to the leaderboard and show you his name right at the top.

"It's better than sliced bread. Let's put it that way. It's just there's this wonderful feeling that's an overwhelmingly happy feeling on the mountain every day, all day," Hart said.

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