Letter: Snowmass Ski School has lost more than just three ski pros
Our little ski school at Snowmass is a tight-knit group, making our three losses in the past 10 days even tougher. Karl Severson, just 16, then Chase Bowlby, only 32, and now Jerry Young, age 60. Each died differently, but they all will be remembered and grieved by those of us left behind.
“Curls” is the word that comes to mind when I think of Karl. Little Karl grew up among the ski instructors, and we all loved seeing that head full of curls skiing circles around us by age 7. His parents, Mark and Maddie, also ski pros, lived for Karl, and we are fortunate that they shared him with us. Karl was such a joy to see on the mountain and in our locker room.
“Smile” is the word that comes to mind when I think of Chase. He had the most amazing smile and beautiful soul, and it seemed he was always eager to share it whenever I saw him. Chase taught Challenge Aspen and Extreme Sports Camp and was incredible with all the autistic and challenged children. He had a way of making everyone feel good. He always gave 100 percent in everything he did. The school will sorely miss him, as will those of us who worked with him.
“Enthusiasm” defined Jerry. He had boundless enthusiasm for life and especially for skiing. This spring, several weeks after Aspen had closed, Jerry was skiing at A-Basin and then sailing on Lake Dillon. He filled his days with diverse athletic activities. I will miss his daily Facebook posts. Aside from skiing, his passions included yoga, canyoning and most recently kayaking on our Colorado rivers. He loved going to concerts and regularly volunteered at the Beaver Creek ski races. Jerry always had something positive to say and was truly fun to be around. We will miss him.
When we see a friend, we never think that it will be the last time we hear their voice. These losses make us change our perspective on life and hopefully make us appreciate those friends we think will always be there. The ski school has lost many wonderful people through the years, but these three, so very close together, bring numerous emotions to the fore and hopefully will remind us to be kinder and gentler to one another.
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