Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dead snowboarder was on the clock for Aspen

Snowboarder Wallace Westfeldt died last week after jumping a 35-foot backcountry cliff beyond Aspen Highlands. I didn't realize until yesterday that it was part of a a ski/snowboard film shoot. And I just found out today, from, that he was working on the shoot for the Aspen Skiing Company.

I spoke with Lou Dawson, the ski mountaineering godfather behind Wildsnow, yesterday about how he sees the film industry increasingly encouraging young athletes to do reckless things in order to make it into ski films, and as pro skiers.
"It's a short career and it can end really badly," he said. He has more thoughts on it today.


Anonymous said...

On the clock implies that Wallace was being paid by Aspen/Snowmass, which he was not.

As evidenced by the fact that another local ripper of the same age, Pat Sewell, was on the Maroon Creek Ridge above Maroon Bowl at the exact same time WITHOUT a film crew, these people would be out there regardless.

Most of all, have some respect for the fact that Wallace was as bright and talented as they come - he would not be easily duped by a film crew to do anything simply for the camera. Save your sensational and uninformed blogging for emails with your friends.

Dave Philipps said...

Defensive, but anonymous

pauzhaan said...

I agree with anonymous. My name is Sherry Young and my daughter is a snowboarder too.

Please don't try to start an issue where there in none. Wallace's death taught me what it really means when someone dies doing exactly what they wanted to do.

Wallace was a very responsible young man, sober and respectful and kind to all. He loved and appreciated life more than most. He lived his life well.

Anonymous said...

Why would Aspen Ski Co push an athlete to do something extreme? Dead athletes do not bolster their image... It is so silly of you to even imply that!

It's tragic, but at least Wallace died doing something he loved.

rupert murdoch said...

The reporter for this blog entry clearly links to the article: "Death in the Mountains — At Work"

In that article, it says:
"The young man perished after jumping a backcountry cliff and and experiencing a bad landing, during a ski/snowboard film shoot he was appearing in for the Aspen Skiing Company."

Then the reporter interviewed the author of that post for his opinions.

Maybe "...on the clock..." wasn't the best choice of words for the headline. However, I have to side with the reporter on this.

IamMBB said...

Your headline: sensationalist and wrong. Misleading "journalism" is not defensible. Check your facts. I also find it ironic that a user with the id of Rupert Murdoch is defending you as a journalist.

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