According to multiple news outlets in Utah, we've learned that professional skier Jamie Pierre has died in an avalanche today in Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT. The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Pierre triggered the avalanche in the South Chute area, which swept him off a rock. He was not buried in the slide, but was pronounced dead on the scene by rescuers. The avalanche was reported at 3:15 pm. It's reported that a friend was with Pierre at the time of the slide, but was not injured.
Jamie had a long and highlight filled career in the ski industry that included film segments with TGR, MSP, Level 1, Wind Up Films and Warren Miller Entertainment. In 2006, Jamie set a record by dropping a 245-foot cliff at Grand Targhee Resort, WY. Jamie had recently moved to Big Sky, MT this year.
Brett Kobernik, an avalanche forecaster with the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center said he received at least 10 reports of avalanches on Sunday alone, most of them triggered by snowboarders or skiers. The avalanche occured in an area of Snowbird Ski Resort that would be inbounds, if the resort were currently open for the season. "It's a very sad reminder to have to put out there to remind people that these are backcounty conditions and ultimately are not allowed on the mountain as a result of the resort being closed," said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.
"Jamie pushed himself and his skiing beyond what any mortal would consider safe—and he always walked away unscathed," says Level 1 Productions founder Josh Berman. "His passing is a sad reminder that there's an inherent risk in what we do, even when potential risks are most calculated and seemingly nonexistent. Really, we can never be careful enough. I'll always remember Jamie for his infectious excitement, enthusiasm, positive attitude, and love for the sport. Outside of all the cliffhucking antics he was an exceptionally talented skier and a truly kind soul."
Our hearts and prayers go out to the entire Pierre family. We will keep you informed as we receive more information on this tragedy. Follow people's thoughts on twitter with #JamiePierre.
Jamie sets the world record at Grand Targhee Resort, WY.