This terrific tribute video was put together by the good people at MSI and the Freeskiing World Tour.
Last Sunday was another sad day for freeskiers worldwide. A very large avalanche near Stevens Pass, Washington claimed the lives of three local skiers in a disaterous event that will be felt in nearby Leavenworth, Washington for years to come. One of those skiers was long time Freeskiing World Tour Head Judge, Jim Normand Jack. Jim Jack was a good friend of mine and a good friend of nearly everyone in the freeskiing world. He was killed doing what he loved along with his friends Chris Rudolph and Johnny Brenan in one of freeskiing’s worst tragedies ever. In a season filled with loss and sadness the passing of our friend Jim Jack has hit home even harder for me than any of our other losses.
Jim Jack was always the person who picked us all up when we lost a friend in the mountains. He would get up in front of a room full of devastated skiers, grab the mic, and convince us all that we could keep this thing going. That our fallen comrades would want us to keep it going, to keep pushing it, to keep doing what we love no matter what. I have seen him take that room full of devastation and turn it into a room of full of hope and optimism. He made that happen after we lost Tobias Lee, Neal Valiton, John Nicoletta and Ryan Hawks. I am left wondering who will keep us going this time? Who will pick up the torch and lead the way into the next chapter in freeskiing’s history. At this point I just don’t know and that concerns me, because I know Jim Jack would want someone to grab that mic and figure out a way to motivate the freeskiing family to keep things moving forward.
I first met Jim Jack about nine seasons ago at Snowbird. He quickly became a friend and is the primary reason that I have kept at this game for so long. Jim has been the head judge at 29 of the 31 big mountain comps I have been a competitor in over the last decade. After every crash or disappointing finish he would always come to me and say the right words to get me back in the start gate, to give it another try next time. He instilled a level of commitment and persistence that has helped me both on and off the hill. I want to say thank you to Jim Jack from myself and for all the other skiers he has inspired, coached and mentored over the last 20+ seasons. We know you will be judging us from another place from now on, and I for one will be skiing my best for you every run for the rest of my life. We will all miss you buddy…
If you would like to donate to a fund that will help out Jim Jack’s loved ones you can do it now by clicking here.