I love skiing. Skiing and riding are inherantly risky.
2 men died on the mountain near Aspen yesterday. One, a snowboarder, Gabriel Hilliard, 30 was impaled on a branch riding Canopy Cruiser at Aspen Highlands. The other, Keith Ames, 43 was buried in an avalanche on Burnt Mountain in the Snowmass side country. Condolences to their families and friends.
Then today, the news that the entire skiing world was dreading...Sarah Burke, 29 of Squamish B.C. succumbed to the injuries she suffered in training on January 10, 2012. Sarah was a super star and a pioneer in Women's Super Pipe, a 4 -Time X-Games Gold Medalist. She was one of the nicest and most professional skiers on the circuit. Everybody loved her, because she was a sweetheart. Our prayers go out to her husband Rory Bushfield and her family. The entire mountain sports community mourns her passing.
While the 3 incidents are unrelated, they all occurred on the slopes. Pushing the envelope on the mountain is fun and thrilling. Skiing and riding aggressively is part of the fun...I get it. Too many skiers and snowboarders are dying on snow. Pro's and amateurs alike. Once in a while something goes wrong and a skier or rider doesn't come home. It seems as if the stakes have been raised in the past couple years and that going BIG is getting.... to BIG. In bounds or out of bounds. Please take a moment to reflect on these tragedies and determine your own tolerance for risk...and then dial it back a notch or two. Have the utmost respect for speed and big air and the snow conditions, because paying the ultimate price is just not worth it.
BE SAFE on SNOW.
Ames and Hilliard will certainly be mourned. Sarah Burke touched so many lives and inspired so many people. She will be missed greatly. The photos contained below are a small retrospective of Sarah's visits to Aspen and interactions with AspenSpin.