Jamie Pierre Jumps Record Cliff
Posted January 30, 2006
Yep, he finally did it. Big Air Jamie Pierre finally quit fooling around with his little 150ft Lincoln Loops, and went for the big one. With perfect snow conditions, he and a barrage of filmers and photographers headed up to a mother of a cliff on Grand Targhee Resort, where he clocked 245 feet of 4 seconds of air time… and didn't land on rocks this time. This is more of a blog post, but it deserved homepage action. Here's some details that have been floating around the media from a press release that was sent out, and we've tracked down an epic newspaper photo we understand was originally scanned by a powdermag user (thanks) for all to enjoy….
Jamie Pierre has set a world-record cliff jump at the Grand Targhee Resort in Wyoming, dropping 245 vertical feet off the back of Fred's Mountain, and said he made his record-breaking jump on Wednesday as a way to spread the Christian word. "It wasn't some yahoo stunt,'' Pierre said. "I chose to do it so it would open up doors so I could witness my faith in Christianity.''
Pierre had been scoping the cliff for seven years, and finally found the right conditions to hit it. TGR was on site filming it, and measured the distance from the cornice to the landing hole with a range-finder to confirm the world record.
The previous world record was set by Paul Ahern of New Zealand, who jumped 225 feet in 1995. If we recall correctly, Paul landed on less-than-perfect snow, with styrofoam in his backpack to dampen the fall, ending up with a couple broken ribs.
Five photographers and three cinema shooters recorded the event, said Josh Nielsen of Teton Gravity Research. "It was a really, really heavy and intense experience for all of us,'' Nielsen said. He said Pierre managed the event and that the others were "kind of along for the ride.'' Observers were solemn before the jump, Nielsen said, adding that Pierre said a prayer before taking off and clocked four full seconds of air time.
About 100 feet into the jump, Nielsen said Pierre couldn't keep his skis under him and went upside down. He landed headfirst and blew a hole 6 feet deep into the snow.
Nielsen said a photographer rushed in and dug Pierre out of the snow. "Jamie pretty much walked away with a cut lip,'' he said. Pierre said he was lucky to be alive. "I'm lucky I didn't get hurt,'' he said. Pierre said he landed in the perfect spot. "I hit the nail on the head,'' he said, no pun intended. "The fact that I came out unscathed and landed where I planned, faith played a role in it.''
Pierre said he took grief from his wife and parents for his jump. He was born in Minnesota and moved first to Crested Butte, Colo., and then to Salt Lake City to ski.
Susie Barnett-Bushong, spokeswoman for Grand Targhee, warned anyone against trying to duplicate Pierre's jump.
"This nothing that an average recreational skier or snowboarder should consider doing,'' she said Friday. Even for elite skiers, she said, “we would never recommend anybody try this.''
In January 2005, skier Brent "Newt'' Newton died after jumping off a 50-foot cliff at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Paul Ruff, a former world-record holder with a cliff jump of 110 vertical feet, died in the 1993 on a 160-foot attempt.