Ski for Scotty: Friends, family remember Scotty Lapp

Justin Scacco
Sierra Sun
“There was no one more insane and more hyped up to be on the mountain with than Scotty,” said Stellan Lane, a teammate on Team Palisades Tahoe.
Amy Lapp

Peering through his signature pink sunglasses, curly hair snapping in the wind, Scotty Lapp launches off a jump at a local ski resort.

As the North Tahoe sophomore’s skis touch down on soft snow, the clean landing leads to an eruption of cheers from a group of friends watching below. The stoke is high — it always is with Lapp.

Those memories and many more were shared by friends and family on Feb. 18, as roughly a thousand members of the community and beyond gathered to celebrate the life of Lapp, who was killed Feb. 13 when he reportedly collided with another young skier off the Yellow Trail at Alpine Meadows.

“It’s crazy. You don’t know how powerful your kid’s reach is,” said Lapp’s father Jason on the turnout. “We’re constantly in tears, but we keep smiling inside about how much fun Scotty always had. How he lived every day, every moment to the fullest … he was yours as much as he was ours.”

Taken a few hours before the accident, Scotty Lapp, left, embraces fellow freerider Bryer Chalstrom after his run.
Kari Chalstrom


Those who knew and befriended Lapp described him as adventurous, a natural leader, and someone who found ways to make the best of any situation.

“There was no one more insane and more hyped up to be on the mountain with than Scotty,” said Stellan Lane, a teammate on Team Palisades Tahoe. “His energy was just unmatched.”

Lane said during Lapp’s ceremony the two bonded over their love of skiing, spending days on the slopes and evenings hanging out, talking on the more profound aspects of life.

Lapp had just finished competing at a Tahoe Junior Freeride Series event when the accident happened.

“Scotty Lapp and his expressively jubilant and charismatic presence will be sorely missed by the many circles he affected, all left confounded in the wake of such calamity,” said series organizers in a statement. “Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his family, and also with the Tahoe Freeride and ski communities. Our bonds are unique and valued dearly, as we gather at the apex of sport in a form that involves so much artistic expression, creativity, confidence, support, and appreciation for mountains and natural forces. With his skiing, and by his general being, Scotty embodied this spirit. He will be sorely missed.”

Legendary skier Jonny Moseley knew Lapp since he was a child, and said his sons and Lapp grew up together.

“Scotty died doing what he loved most, ripping around the mountain with his buddies,” said Moseley in an Instagram post. “He was a creator. A young man who rallied his friends around projects and adventures. He inspired us with his photos and videos. He had an eye for the authentic and was uncompromising. In his brief life he made a deep impact and we will carry his electricity forward with us in all our endeavors. When he was around 10 years old he carved his name into our fence. My son went out and carved it deeper. He belongs to all of us now.”

Whether it be through boarding, photography, rock climbing, wakesurfing, to convincing a friend that using an old locker as a sled was a solid idea, Lapp immersed himself in everything he did.

“Scotty would pour his heart and soul into improving,” said friend Jack Moseley. “Not for anyone else, not to show off … but because he found exponential joy in dedicating himself to the process.”


Lapp grew up in Tiburon and moved to the area last fall, in part due to his and his brother Ryan’s prowess on the snow.

Before leaving their hometown, the two brothers reportedly hand-painted rocks and placed them around their Paradise Cay neighborhood. Residents have since gathered those stones and arranged them in a heart-shaped tribute on a jetty by the local yacht club.

Other tributes have popped up in the form of the #skiforscotty hash tag, and a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of raising funds to build a skate park in Tahoe City.

“What can we do to keep Scotty’s name alive and in our hearts and how can we move forward?” said Lapp’s mother Amy Lapp during his celebration of life. “Scotty really wanted to have a place to go for the kids to go in Tahoe City. He loved his skateboard and he loved his posse down there, and they were always getting kicked out of everywhere. The sheriff would roll up and be like, ‘Dudes, you got to move,’ and Scotty would be like ‘I’m so sorry. Can I do one more thing before I go?’ So, these kids really need a place.”

The campaign has raised more than $213,000. To donate visit and search for Scotty Lapp Memorial Skate Park.

Justin Scacco is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of the Tribune. He can be reached at

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