On Tuesday, January 22 I sat at lunch and heard the news that local pro skier Billy Poole had been in a terrible ski accident. Tuesday was a perfect blue bird powder day, the kind that every skier dreams of. At 1:00p.m. the clouds moved in unexpectedly and the snow began to fall. My lunch companions and I noticed that the snow wasn't really falling, but rather floating and hovering in the air. At 1:30 p.m. Billy passed away.
Billy was a great friend of mine, but more than that, he was a friend and inspiration to many in the ski community. His infectious laughter, bright spirit, flaming red hair and piercing blue eyes captivated everyone he met. On Thursday, January 24 several hundred of Billy's friends and family members gathered at the Gold Miner's Daughter at Alta to remember Billy and honor how he touched our lives. His mother urged us all to "stay positive" as that is what Billy would have wanted.
It is always hard to see any skier injured in an accident. It is especially hard when it happens to those we love. As skiers, we are aware of the inherit risks that we take every time we go to the mountains. As skiers, we bond with others who appreciate snow, sun, life and love in the same way we do. Billy loved his life, his friends and his family. He died doing what he loved, on the perfect day to be doing it.
Next time you are out on a sunny powder day let a laugh, or a hoop, or a holler out for Billy. I am sure he is skiing everyday in that gigantic powder bowl above the clouds and he wants to know that you are too!