Exactly one year ago, we lost JP Auclair & Andreas Fransson in an avalanche in Chilean Patagonia. The news engulfed the ski industry like a silent, black tsunami leaving us all blind-sided, devastated, and lost.
Our heroes vanished far away in an unknown land.
JP brought flair, style, and life back into the skiing world when we needed it most. He helped invent and create the first twin tip ski, co-founded Armada skis, and was an original member of the Canadian Air Force.
Andreas pushed the limits of ski mountaineering and extreme skiing arguably further than anyone ever has. His descent of the south face of 20,320-foot Denali in Alaska still gives me nightmares… He’s the only one who has ever skied that line, and it may very well stay that way.
What can we say to these two gentlemen now, one year after their departure? We can say ‘thank you.’
Can we imagine the ski world right now without twin tip skis? Without switch tricks, without the smoothness JP brought to every trick, without the incredible award winning street segment JP pulled off in “All I Can”? That video rarely leaves my mind. What JP does in that video isn’t what I consider skiing. It lives somewhere beyond skiing in an artistic realm the world doesn’t have the categorization for yet.
Andreas brought something completely new to the ski world. Something intimidating. He showed us comfort above the abyss. The ability to see the light of a line where everyone else saw darkness. He showed us execution on a level previously unknown. Add power, unfathomable endurance, lightness, and speed to his illuminated vision and he became one of if not the greatest extreme skier on Earth.
These two brought greatness into the world. A greatness that will last. A greatness to be grateful for and I know that all of us still here truly are.
Thank you, JP.
Thanks you, Andreas.