Words by Matthias Giraud.
It’s not everyday that you get to ski off a 260 ft cliff, launch a double backflip, and fly away in a parachute. As I am getting ready to ski, JT turns towards me, shakes my hand, and says, “To the first of many.” This day was a long time coming; we had talked about this day for years.
This is our first jump together. It is also JT’s first ski BASE jump since that tragic day, March 26, 2009—a date which will live in infamy—when JT survives a ski BASE flight in the Italian Dolomites, but his good friend, wingman, and one of my mentors, Shane McConkey, does not.
Even if we are aware of the risks and accept them, witnessing the loss of a friend and mentor is the most traumatic experience a skier and BASE jumper can endure. But, JT is an example of composure and focus, and he carries on with the spirit of BASE jumping and skiing, that is, celebrating life.
Today, I am incredibly honored to be along his side as he gets back on the horse, the first of many. Let’s never forget the words of McConkey: “There’s nothing better than sliding down snow and flying through the air.”
Welcome back, JT.
The First of Many: JT Holmes and Matthias Giraud ski off a 260 ft cliff