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Mon., Nov. 14, 2011, 5:03 p.m.

Ski-hucking record holder is West’s first avalanche victim of season

In this undated photo provided by the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort of Utah, Jamie Pierre performs an extreme jump at the Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah. Unified Police say 38-year-old Pierre of Big Sky, Mont., was killed while snowboarding near Gad Valley on Sunday, Nov. 13,2011. Police spokesman Lt. Justin Hoyal says there is no avalanche control on the mountain because the resort has not yet opened for the winter season.  (Associated Press)
In this undated photo provided by the Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort of Utah, Jamie Pierre performs an extreme jump at the Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah. Unified Police say 38-year-old Pierre of Big Sky, Mont., was killed while snowboarding near Gad Valley on Sunday, Nov. 13,2011. Police spokesman Lt. Justin Hoyal says there is no avalanche control on the mountain because the resort has not yet opened for the winter season. (Associated Press)

BACKCOUNTRY SKIING -- Professional skier Matthew Jamie Pierre died in an avalanche he triggered while snowboarding at the unopened Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort Sunday afternoon.

Pierre, 38, of Big Sky, Mont., was snowboarding with a friend in the South Chute area when the avalanche swept him off a cliff, said Unified Police Department spokesman Lt. Justin Hoyal.

The area where the two were snowboarding would be considered within the boundaries of the resort if it were open, Hoyal said. But until the resort opens, no avalanche control work is being done.

Pierre appeared in numerous Warren Miller films and in 2006 set a world-record cliff jump on video at Wyoming’s Grand Targhee Resort by dropping 245 vertical feet.

"It wasn’t some yahoo stunt," Pierre told The Associated Press after setting the record. "I chose to do it so it would open up doors so I could witness my faith in Christianity."

Powder magazine has published this look at Pierre's career.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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