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February 20, 2012 at 4:25 PM

More than 100 gather at Snowbird to remember those lost at Stevens Pass

About 180 people gathered Monday evening at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, to remember the three skiers killed in an avalanche at Stevens Pass on Sunday.

The memorial commemorated Jim Jack, Chris Rudolph and John Brenan, three Leavenworth men who died after being swept away by an avalanche while skiing in an area bordering the Stevens Pass resort.

Adam Comey, the owner and president of Mountain Sports International, said he was Jack’s good friend.  Jack was head judge of two international freeskiing organizations: the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour, run by Comey’s company, and the International Free Skiers Association.

“Freeskiing” is a catch-all term for extreme skiing. It includes backcountry or “off-piste” skiing as well as courses with tricks and jumps.

People from across the spectrum of the ski community, from athletes to photographers to parents of competitive skiers, were in attendance, Comey said.

“We’re coming together to spend time as a community,” Comey said. “Everyone shares something in common.”

Jack was one of freeskiing’s biggest cheerleaders, Comey said.

“He wanted to, as a judge, make sure athletes knew exactly what they were doing out on the hill,” Comey said. “It wasn’t about doing something outrageous; it was about showing creativity, not about doing something that might be construed as risky.

“At the same time, he wanted people to go out there and express their individuality: how do they approach the hill, what makes them different?”

More importantly, Comey said, he was a good friend.

“He really, honestly cared about anyone he talked to, and especially somebody that shared a common passion,” Comey said. “He could hold a conversation with you for as long as you were willing to talk, and if it was about skiing, it could go on all night.”

Comments | More in General news | Topics: avalanche, Chris Rudolph, Jim Jack

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