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Ski Slope Grooming Pioneer Dies

November 25, 2002

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LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) _ Steve Bradley, a former member of the U.S. national ski team who later created a machine that flattened moguls, died at 86.

Bradley died of pneumonia on Nov. 13, the opening day at Winter Park, where he was once manager.

As manager, he experimented with ways to get rid of bumps on the slope. In 1952 he came up with the Bradley Packer. The gravity-powered machine _ a 5-foot-wide, 2,000-pound rolling pin _ smoothed the course as an intrepid skier dragged the device downhill.

When he began to groom slopes in the early 1950s the only method was foot-packing. In the industry, Bradley was known as the ``father of slope maintenance.″

Bradley competed on Dartmouth College’s ski jumping team and later on the U.S. national ski team. He helped start Winter Park’s handicapped skiing program, which led to a national program.

Survivors include daughters Kat Bradley-Bennett and Lynn Bradley Leopold; stepsons Peter Laffin, Christopher Laffin and Rob Laffin; brothers Richard Bradley and William Bradley; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Dec. 9 in Longmont.

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