***Originally published on April 30th, 2014
I first met Timy Dutton in 2007. I’d heard his backstory from friends about a recent life challenge that he’d overcome. He’d come back to skiing and decided to try the freeskiing competition in Kirkwood, CA. He won it. Then he went to the comp in Alaska and won that, too. He’d entered only two freeskiing comps in his life and won them both. Needless to say, I was impressed and so was everyone else.
Skiing powder days at Squaw with Timy was a riot. The guy was goofy, happy, egoless, satisfied, he threw backflips off of everything, and wasn’t worried about anything. He had a lightness to his skiing that made it seem like he wasn’t ever actually touching the ground but somehow hovering just above it at all times. Even his crashes looked light. It probably didn’t hurt that he weighed 140 pounds soaking wet.
Timy quickly became a professional freeskier and competed well in skiing’s highest competitive arena, the Freeride World Tour. He brought home the 3rd place in the 2010 Chamonix, France tour stop doing nothing but whatever he wanted to do on that venue. The kid was beyond smooth.
Timy also became a professional BASE jumper and charged around the world with his good buddy JT Holmes pulling off stunts most can only dream of.
Today (April 29th, 2014), Timy Dutton lost his life in a skydiving accident in Lodi, California. Timy was tracking (assuming a body position that allows the skydiver to move horizontally while freefalling) with a friend during freefall when the two skydivers collided. Timy lost consciousness in the collision and was unable to pull his parachute before reaching the ground. Timy was not wearing an Automatic Activation Device that would automatically deploy your parachute at a certain altitude above the ground. The other skydiver in the collision suffered a broken leg.
I ran into Timy last Saturday standing on top of Siberia at Squaw Valley. I gave him a hug and we talked about ski BASE jumping and some amazing adventures he’d just had in Europe. He made me laugh a few times and skied off.
Timy, I can’t express how much you’ll be missed.
Timy was 27 years old.
Some Kind Words About Timy:
“Timy is the epitome of positivity when you’re skiing. I don’t know how many times he told me he was stoked just to be out there while we were filming last winter. On top of that, the kid’s got a great sense of humor. He’s fun as hell to be around.” – Scott Gaffney
“The kid has confidence, without arrogance in the mountains. He has done his time, from winning comps to spending his last pennies taking guide courses in Alaska. It’s nice to see him rising to the top of the ski world.” – JT Holmes
“Timy approaches skydiving and base-jumping patiently and with a deep respect. Not ignoring the fundamentals or taking dangerous shortcuts as so many others do. It is a pleasure to mentor him and we laugh hard in the air together. Timy has restored the bug for ski BASE-jumping within me, that naturally, had faded out since March 26, 2009. It is going to be a fun winter. I have found my new wingman.” – JT Holmes
“I used to watch Timy in the park throwing stylie cork 7s off 100-foot table tops. After he won the first two big mountain comps he ever entered I realized Timy could be one of the most versatile up and coming skiers out there.” – Cody Townsend
“He just loves laying out fat backflips. They look so effortless and casual.” – Scott Gaffney
“Of course I’m going to worry. Both my sons have really dangerous jobs (Tim’s brother is a firefighter in Brooklyn), but seeing him succeed at what he does far outweighs the fears I might have. I just think it’s a once in a lifetime experience that he absolutely has to pursue. He needs to ride this wave while he’s on it.” – Timy’s mom