Details are sketchy at this point, but Reports are coming through that luminary extreme skier, CR Johnson, has died in an accident at Squaw Valley. ESPN has confirmed the story through sources close to C.R. According to filmmaker Scott Gaffney, Johnson, 26, fell on Light Towers at Squaw, went off a cliff, and landed in rocks.
Johnson’s death comes just eleven months after the ski world lost one of its best and brightest, Shane McConkey, in a BASE jumping tragedy.
JT Holmes was with Johnson and told the Ski Channel that he was killed instantly. Wrenchingly, Holmes was also with McConkey when he died.
A statement released by Squaw Valley confirmed that Johnson missed his first turn, fell downhill into rocks, and slid several hundred yards. He was wearing a helmet. Medical personnel responded within minutes, to no avail.
Johnson’s death is particularly heartbreaking because he suffered a severe head injury in December 2005 and spent 10 days a coma. After 34 days, he returned home to Truckee and by March he was on snow again for the first time.
In the above video, CR talks about coming back from his injury in a segment from Matchstick Productions’ Seven Sunny Days.
Meanwhile, legendary Filmmaker Warren Miller broke is back skiing last week, and he’s filed a post on his blog.
“This is the first time I’ve ever missed a day of skiing because of a ski injury. Why I don’t know, but it is probably because I have always been so cautious on my skis. Does it come from the early years of skiing without safety bindings and no insurance? Perhaps, but it came from somewhere.”
Condolences go out to Johnson’s friends and family, and I wish Warren Miller a most speedy recovery.