Even experts think twice in Crested Butte’s high-risk race
Big-mountain freeskier Rex Wehrman remembers the exact moment he was scared away from competing ever again in the U.S. Extreme Freeskiing Championships at Crested Butte.
“I was taking a line through ‘Body Bag Chutes’ and wound up going off the final jump on one ski, with my other one behind me,” said the two-time U.S. Extremes champion from Summit County. “As soon as I took off, I just thought, ‘That’s it. I’m never doing this again.’ “
Wehrman, 38, managed to pull it together in midair and land the unforgiving 30-foot jump wedged between jagged rocks and thick timber, and even advance to the final round among the 2006 contest’s elite the following day. But his heart was no longer in it. And that’s no way to approach what may be the most difficult and dangerous in-bounds ski terrain in Colorado.
Wehrman now applies his extreme skiing expertise as a judge at the event, which celebrated its 18th anniversary Saturday.