Remembering Jamie Pierre

A video slideshow tribute set to AC/DC - 'because that's what Jamie would want'


By Tim Mutrie
Photos and video by Brent Benson

Even before the big Hail Mary, the 255-foot leap from a Wyoming cliff in 2006, Jamie Pierre had been labelled “skiing’s most dangerous man” (Powder, February 2004). But Pierre was something of a study in incongruity—devout Christian, husband and father and hard-charging skier whose particular chi drove him to become one of skiing’s foremost airmen.

Photo: Brent Benson

Photo: Brent Benson

“He wasn’t in it just to get his photo taken,” said photographer Brent Benson of his friend Pierre, who was killed Sunday in an avalanche at Snowbird in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon.

“His skiing was all about honoring God,” Naomi Pierre, Jamie’s sister, told the AP today. “He was incredibly passionate about getting that word out to youth. So he did that through jumping off cliffs and skiing down dangerous chutes.”

While not one much for self promotion, Pierre was “by far the hardest working guy I ever shot with,” Benson said in an interview today with Powder.com. He added, “That’s what made him probably one of the top five most-published skiers out there.”

Pierre is survived by his wife, Amee, and their two children, Royal and Clementine, ages about 3 and 5, respectively. After 10-plus years in the Salt Lake area, the Pierres had recently relocated to Big Sky, Montana. It was a family trip to Hawaii that had brought Pierre back to Salt Lake this week, and fresh powder that drew him and his snowboard up Little Cottonwood Canyon for Sunday’s outing.

Today, in the aftermath of the accident, Pierre’s legacy and memory is reverberating around the ski world and beyond. Overwhelmed with grief, Benson, a Salt Lake-based ski photographer who befriended Pierre in the late ’90s, said he was up all night last night. At 11 p.m., he set about scanning and editing his catalog of images of Pierre. The resulting video slideshow—”I put it to AC/DC because that’s what Jamie would want,” he said—features 80-plus images spanning 10-plus years.

“He would ski from sun up to sun down, on the coldest days, no matter. Jamie was always skiing,” Benson said. “He’d just ski and ski and ski. He’d wear out photographers. He’d start with one, then get on the phone to find out who else was out there, then hook up with them.”

“Everyone in Little Cottonwood Canyon just can’t even believe the stuff he’s done over the years,” he added. “Not a lot of people know this, but he was a really good snowboarder and really good tele skier too—he did the Pyramid Gap on all three. He was also one of those persons who was sometimes misunderstood. He spoke his mind. And when he said something he meant it. But he always helped out everyone who needed help, and he was always into encouraging people. A lot of people have said this, but it’s true: He had a huge heart.”

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  • Jason Scheben

    Amazing! Great job and photos Brent!

  • http://www.aholtphoto.com Austin Holt

    So damn rad Benson, what a way to remember the man. Thanks for sharing all those images.

    • http://www.bing.com/ Tessie

      You’ve got to be kidding me-it’s so tnraspraetnly clear now!

  • rob

    brings back great memories of our trip. Pierre would be stoked – way to get it done.

  • Jenn Berg

    Such great memories and amazing images captured over the years with Jamie.. thank you for sharing this Benson.

  • Stu Smith

    Well, I sure have a lot of sympathy for his wife and kids. Lots of press accolades about the guy’s ability to honor god via cliff hucking, but nothing about how his actions might affect his family and friends. IMHO he was only thinking about himself. He didn’t even care about his family enough to bring along rescue gear or take the time for avalanche training (according to the Utah Avalanche Center report). And I’m supposed to be impressed by this guy?

    Jamie might want AC/DC, but what will his kids want as they grow up?

    • Gerry

      to early stu

  • Mike Preston

    Didnt know him, but would have loved to hang with him.Living a few miles from the Cottonwood Canyons, I have found the Wasatch Mountains are the best Church Ive ever been to. I love riding my side by side Polaris in the Mineral basin area listenin to AC/DC -A long way to the top if you want to rock and roll- and talkin to God. Condolences to the Family.

  • grafton

    thank you for sharing those images with us all. i got to know him well over the last four years. the days skiing with him and amee were some of my best memory’s. i will miss him untill the end of my days. good bye dear friend.

  • JustPassingThru

    Most addictive and satisfying substance I’ve encountered on the planet.

  • mike turner

    We love Ya bro! We will miss you even more.

  • orion abben

    That was amazing ! Brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for all the inspiration Jaime !

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  • missyou

    God Speed Jamie. You were one hell of a skier but an even more amazing friend, father and husband. You’re already missed more than you could ever have imagined. How we wish this whole thing wasn’t true.

  • http://MantisSkis Jamie Grose

    Jamie, What can I say? Thanks for all the good advice and support towards my ski building endeavor. You always gave great tips and support when I needed an skiers point of view in things. I could count on you to follow up with me anytime I had a question. Thanks for the motivation and for the positivity. You are by far a legend and I am so sad to see you move on. Rip it up in heaven my friend and may your family find comfort in hearing all these great stories about you. You are leaving behind a huge shoe that will never be filled.

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  • josh

    To stu- you fucking idiot how can u say he didn’t care about his family you know nothing. He was on a hike promoting avalanche awareness you fucking retard! And yes you should be impressed by him he’s 100times the man you could ever hope to be….

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