Mark Wolling AKA “Big Wally”
Mark “Big Wally’ Wolling passed away at age 58 on January 9, 2010 after being critically injured in an avalanche while performing avalanche hazard work at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. He was in the Cheyenne Bowl area of the resort.
Big Wally grew up in Kirkwood, Missouri where he graduated from high school and worked diligently to become an Eagle Scout. He graduated from Southern Methodist University before moving to Jackson Hole in 1973 and was hired onto the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol in 1989.
He was known for his tall, lanky build, brushy, blond mustache, gregarious nature, and penchant for fun and most of all his big heart. Passionate about the outdoors he was an avid kayaker, paraglider, skier and mountain biker, accompanied on many of his adventures by his Springer Spaniel, Sir Charles Winston IV aka Charlie.
He survived two serious parasailing crashes that caused him to launch the tradition of Goatstock fundraiser parties for injured valley athletes at his home in Red Top Meadows. The ski run “Wally World” is named for him even though Wally said that “Wally World’s not a place. It’s a state of mind, where the fun never stops and all your dreams come true.” His parents Spence and Millie, two sisters Barb and Sue, and longtime companion Marianne survive him.