Remembering Brian “Boogs” Gimbert

FROM LEFT: Joel, Peter, Brian and Nancy Gimbert.

The holidays are here and the themes for the season are giving, generosity and kindness.

The late Brian “Boogs” Gimbert embodied that spirit every day. Boogs was born Aug. 3, 1989, and raised in Tahoma. I was fortunate to know Boogs as a boy when he played with my son and later as he grew into a man.

He was driving a snowcat before he had his driver’s license and became part of the grooming crew at Homewood under the tutelage of Justin “Shaggy” Cavasso, a man nine years his senior who would go on to become his mentor and a best friend. He eventually taught Boogs how to drive the cat and Boogs was the only kid in town who would arrive at the school bus stop in a snowcat. Snow grooming was in his blood, and he pursued that career into his adulthood earning status as a top-tier guy at Homewood and Alpine Meadows.

When Shaggy left Homewood to work at Alpine Meadows, Boogs went with him and quickly rose in status and respect in the corporation for his attitude and work ethic. Wanting to be of more help, Boogs began working in the snowmaking department in addition to his grooming duties. (I’ve done snowmaking and it’s a tough job as you are required to monitor computers along with hoses and snowguns in adverse weather in the middle of the night.)

It was while working on snowmaking at Alpine Meadows in the early morning on Nov. 9, 2023, the snowmobile he was driving (and he was a very accomplished snowmobiler) flipped over and landed on him. He was rushed to the same hospital where he was born but did not survive.

It is such a blow to the community to lose such a thriving and vital young man. Peter Gimbert describes his brother as “… the kindest soul with a genuine smile. Tahoe’s going to miss a special person.”

He filled his life with action, skiing on the Alpine Meadows ski team until he was 16 years old. He loved snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, hunting, biking, fishing and dogs. He had a goal of fishing in Patagonia and getting a captain’s license to guide fishing trips. Peter said he relied on and appreciated his younger brother’s advice.

In the off-season, Boogs was all action. With his best friend from childhood, Spence Marple, he spent weeks at a time together in the summer backpacking and hiking, completing the Colorado Trail and the Yosemite Trail.

Boogs was always in contact with his brother about the snow conditions, where to ski and, on the occasions when Boogs got early ups for virgin powder with ski patrol, he would give his brother a snarky look so he would know that his little brother was getting the best snow. To earn those fresh untracked turns, Boogs would report to work at midnight. He was never late and worked through the night in hazardous conditions in all types of weather on steep slopes, ultimately creating a premium ski surface for the skiing public.

His philosophy, like his mentor Shaggy, was to make it the best you can, then go out, test the product (meaning, ski it) and then go back and figure out how to make it better.

When the Caldor fire hit our area and Tahoma was evacuated, Boogs’s house was deemed in the safe zone (across the street) and he took it upon himself to patrol the evacuated neighborhood. Boogs’s genuineness and kindness also extended to everyone he met. He touched many lives.