The Mindset of Extreme – Julian Carr’s thought process behind an unreal accomplishment

The Mindset of Extreme – Julian Carr’s thought process behind jumping an insane cliff

We watch in awe as remarkable athletes complete things we only dream about.   Have you ever sat back and thought what goes into the process behind the unbelievable achievements?   Extreme skiing is not for the faint of heart.   While some may think extreme sports is a group of crazy people that just “going for it”,  we know they are dead wrong.

Let’ go behind the scenes and listen to our own Julian Carr speak to his thought process as he approaches jumping an unbelievable 210-foot cliff.    (from www.newschoolers.com   Matt Kretzschmar, Oct 2017)

“My first time to Europe, what a place. We spent three weeks in Austria, then hopped a train to Switzerland.  When we rolled into town, conditions were awesome. We took Gondola up, hopped on Jochpass chairlift. On the way up, there was a super obvious, massive, cliff just staring us in the face. First thing that struck me was it was probably very difficult to locate the top of the cliff. It was a fleeting thought. It was literally my first time up the mountain. We had one more chairlift to take; we hadn’t taken the tram yet. [There were] Hundreds of perfect cliffs everywhere, but man, this one was the most perfect massive cliff I had ever seen, [and I was] instantly gravitating towards it.

We immediately hit a few cliffs in the 30-70 foot range. Landings were preserved, snow was dense and light at the same time — perfect for cliffs. I was able to inspect the big cliff. The landing was not quite there for a big cliff like this. I need the landing to be ultra perfect. From cruising around the mountain, I could see an entry into the cliff, it looked tricky but doable. The landing wasn’t quite there. We had plans to travel around Switzerland, maybe check out Italy, but we had storms rolling in to Engelberg. We made some incredible friends in Engelberg, so we posted up for 3, almost 4 weeks.

We would get some 10″ storms that would roll in and rebuff everything. We were skiing lines, hitting the same cliffs over and over, truly a blast. I kept visiting my big cliff, trying to will the landing to be good enough, [but] it just wasn’t quite there. Close, but no cigar.

Our trip was coming to an end; we’d be leaving in a few days, [then] the unbelievable happened, a huge storm hit. It snowed for a full day, shut down the mountain, then it went blue for our last full day in town. We woke up early, headed for the early gondola. Accumulation rumors were 30″+ storm total, zero wind, just an ultra perfect day ahead. My mind went straight to the big cliff, I wanted to head straight for inspection. As we loaded the gondolas, I got separated from my crew, I went solo on the gondola. Inside the window, there was an old sticker of a big eagle, I took that as a good omen, but didn’t want to get ahead of myself. One step at a time.

We headed up Jochpass chairlift. The cliff couldn’t have looked any better, just beautiful, fresh snowfield above & below the cliff. I skied straight to the landing. I knew I had to be quick in my protocol process, because people would be skiing through my landing within the hour. I hiked up, [and] started my depth testing in the landing area I had been studying for weeks. Landing was ultra perfect, I could stick my entire pole into the snow without any effort, continue with my entire arm, then lean my shoulder, half my body into the snow. [The] Landing was 5’+ feet of the finest Switzerland powder you could ever dream of, on top of their 100″ base. Ultra perfect. Go time.

Next up was the take-off logistics. This cliff would require skiing into the cliff, I wouldn’t be able to ski down to the take-off, spend time manicuring it, this one was going to be natural take-off situation. Since I knew I would have the most blind take-off, for the countless hours I had spent studying the landing zone, I had made horizon point visual landmarks, I knew when I was up on the cliff, I needed to be precise. What I did to make sure I knew where to aim [is] when I’d be probing the landing, studying exactly where I needed to land, I would turn around in the landing area [and] study horizon landmarks, so I could visualize, place myself up on the cliff, skiing towards the take-off, find my horizon landmark [and] send it aimed dead-on to that landmark trajectory. These things were what I was processing as I went up the chairlift.

My crew was Nick Greener. I instructed him to ski to me right after I landed, regardless of anything, just ski to me and check on me. So he took the next chairlift up, skied around the zone [and] was tucked up underneath the cliff on standby. I had Sky Pinnick filming for Rage Films. Photographer Oskar Enander. And the ultimate wingman, Tom Wayes. We all seamlessly chatted logistics on the chairlift, then we all headed for our respective locations. Once off the chairlift, I attempted to find my entrance to the cliff, but couldn’t find it. The guys on the radio attempted to talk me into it, but there was a maze of cliffs in the area, I couldn’t wrap my head around it, no margin for error. I skied back down, re-study how to get to the top of my cliff, it was a tricky entrance. [Then I] Took the lift back up.

julian carr tackles 210-foot cliff

Carr launches off a 210-foot cliff in Switzerland’s Jochpass. Photo: Newschoolers

I had to make a ski down a side ramp above a small cliff band. Once around the cliff band, I had to make a hop turn above some serious exposure, then start tracking left. As I tracked left, that is when I knew I would find my bushes on the take-off I had studied, so I knew exactly where to take-off, find horizon landmark for visual body aim trajectory. Tricky, tricky. Intense.

Once I was 100% in the right entrance area, it had been more than an hour, I was radio’d that about four or five people had skied through the landing slope, it was a big slope, it was beyond deep, I was still 100% the landing was mega green light regardless. I was focused, it was intense.

I got on the radio, gave my “1-minute” countdown. I made sure all my boots were buckled, all my straps intact on my pack, made sure the goggles weren’t fogging. And visualized my ski line, visualized locating my horizon landmark, visualized a long, beautiful swan dive in open space, absolute serenity in the sky, find my center, find my ultimate point of relaxful meditation as I sliced though the sky to the deep snow below. “10 seconds”, I put away my radio, took a deep breath, let it out very slowly, waved my arms, and dropped into the ramp. It was super deep, I was sloughing snow like crazy over the small cliff into the powder field below. I remember taking the most focused breaths of my life, studying each & every snow particle as I skied towards my hop turn zone, I was now in the red zone, no mistakes. I reached my hop turn zone, made the single most scary hop turn of my life, the edge, if I were to make a mistake, was about 20 feet below me, w no chance of survival. I made the hop turn, maintained the focus, kept the breath, maintained the composure, started tracking left, all the while the snow is deep, I’m sloughing a ton of snow over the cliff edge just to the right of where I would be jumping. I locate my exit point, I locate my horizon point, all systems go, it’s point of no return, but I already knew that the second I saw this cliff weeks earlier, I had a destiny with this cliff, all systems aligned as I made my final few turns leading up to the edge, it felt like I was a NBA point guard, dribbling through defenders, seeing all obstacles in slow motion heading towards the basket for the score. I became one w my skis, one w the cliff, one w my exit point. The area I just skied through to get to my exit point was so intense, I wanted to get the hell out of there, get me in the air already!

I hit the exit point, let me tell you, when I first popped out into the open sky, the ground was so impossibly far away, I was in a time portal, I experienced minutes of internal conversation in my head in that split second, multiple conversations, multiple perspectives, so many thoughts fully thought out in slow motion, minutes & minutes of flow of consciousness.

All the slough looked like an avalanche was cascading like a waterfall to my right, I was going slightly left, I’d always wanted an aerial view of a mini-avalanche cascading over a 200’+ foot cliff. I believe that time is a construct that is relative, because I lived a layered, long experience, in a split second.

And the ground, the ground was impossibly far away.

 

I came back into earth time, realized the height I was seeing was considerably higher than the highest I’d seen yet, biggest cliff I’d jumped up to this point, which was 170 feet, not to self, I’m much higher than 170 feet in the air right now, one of many conversations I had in that split second.

I initiated the rotation of my front flip just a shade faster than perfect, as I started the rotation of my flip-

I just instantly knew I was flipping a hair too fast, that hair would be a risk to my life if it panned out.

I knew I needed to make some auto-adjustments on the fly. I elongated my body immediately, all instinctual, for I needed to slow my rotation down, I didn’t think about any of this, although I was having self-internal dialogue narration the entire time, amongst other conversations occurring the entire time in the air. Like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

I wasn’t doing enough to slow my rotation, my body knew this and kind of went into code red. My body tensed, I started breathing rapidly.

I was not zen. I knew I had better find zen, or else I’d likely die.

I forced myself to keep my head and shoulder energy to start heading inwards, so the forward momentum of the flip would start to rotate me inward VS keeping my head coming back up & forward, putting me square on my feet, once I switched the energy in my shoulders and head to start turning me inwards w the rotation instead of upwards/forwards, i just knew, I could feel it was perfect, I told myself –

‘Ok, now you have to relax.’

Because even if my body position was perfect, if I wasn’t completely calm, complete liquid w my body being relaxed, if my mind wasn’t relaxed, I needed to be total water.. otherwise I would splat, my insides would explode. If I had any air in my body or even one tense muscle, I would detonate on impact.

I visualized a deep starry night, billions of stars in the sky, I was amongst those stars in the sky, I found the peace of mind, I found the exhale of breath, found absolute state of relaxation in my full body, mind, spirit. I came upon the snow and shared energies, shared my rich electro-magnetic spectrum with that of the snow, I effortlessly, non-vioently, had a non-collission with the snow.

The landing was deep, perfect, my mind, body came to a state of snapping back to non-meditation, all I could do was laugh, I was laughing, my safety guy, Nick, skied up to me, they told me all of them were radio’ing to me asking if I was alright, I just remember laughing. Nick radio’d to the crew I was fine & I was laughing. My ski came off on impact, I got my ski back on, skied down and met up with the crew. Lots of high-fives, lots of smiles, it was a bonkers experience. Truly such a rich experience from A-Z, not just those 4 or 5 seconds, for it was an eternity in an instant.

One thing we were all curious about, how high was the cliff? All I knew it was way higher than 170 feet. We took the chair up, skied to the landing zone, pulled out the camera, we were going to point the camera to the take-off, get a measurement, but the camera died. Tom Wayes, used to climb big forest trees for a living, he’d get called in to slowly take-down problematic huge trees in forests, neighborhoods, etc. He was routinely climbing trees over 200 feet tall. I said to him, all I know is that cliff is at least 200 feet, “Do I have the Tom Wayes stamp of approval?” He instantly said I did.  So we called it 210 feet.

 

Do you know our Pros? Meet Rachael Burks – Empress of Rad Skiing & Friend of Anaconda

Meet Rachael Burks – Empress of Rad Skiing & HUGE friend of the folks in Anaconda.

 

Rachael is one amazing woman.   Skimag.com describes her perfectly – she is as much whirlwind as human, swirling with grand ideas, loud jokes, belly laughs, and big airs.  Her no-holds-barred attitude belies her enduring dedication to introducing other women to the sport.   Click here to read the whole article.

Rachael is not only an incredibly fun person and skier, she is an advocate for inspiring girls of all ages to get out there and follow their dreams.

“I’ve learned that attitude is everything. I’ve learned that it’s better to show up and fail than to not show up at all. I’ve learned to work hard and trust myself. I’ve learned that I really like being able to help others when I’m on a shoot. I like to inspire as a female, but also bring out the goofiness in other women.

Sometimes things don’t work out for you, sometimes you DO fail, and it’s not easy… it’s hard to fail, and I’m not great at getting it back together – but I have learned that you have to just keep showing up, keep getting out.

If you’re not present, then you are not improving your chances in any way. You’re also not getting better at skiing. (That’s important stuff.)” Click here to read more.

So next time someone says Ski Like a Girl –Here’s what they mean:

Rachael & the pros hanging with many of the Billy Poole Ski with a Pro Weekend participants and signing autographs.

First year at Disco

Thank you, Rachael!  See you in a few weeks!

Do you know our Pros? Meet Julian Carr – Cliff Jumper Extraordinaire

Meet Julian Carr – 

Julian Carr is truly one of the best  – skier, businessman, activist and huge supporter of the Billy Poole Foundation.   Julian pursues life in a multiple of capacities between skiing professionally and CEO of Discrete, a  sports-oriented clothing company.  The man is always moving.  Julian is a mainstay in the action sports industry. From Warren Miller movies to setting world record cliff jumps, you can’t go a day without him popping up in a magazine in front of you or your social media news feed.

He’s received a ‘Photo of the Year’ award from Powder Magazine, won the prestigious Sickbird Award on the Freeskiing World Tour, and he holds two world records in cliff height. Julian serves as an ambassador for Protect Our Winters ( POW ) as well as The Climate Reality Project. Most recently, Julian founded a mountain running series, the Cirque Series, which is in its third season.

 

 

Meet Julian and take a few runs with him at the Billy Poole Ski with the Pros weekend.

Enjoy every second!

 

 

Remember, Applications due on January 19th for the EPIC *Free* Ski with the Pros Weekend

Just a friendly reminder that applications for Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Weekend are due by Friday,  January 19th (which is a week from tomorrow).

Click HERE to download an application

Please return your applications via mail (address on application) or to Fred Moodry Middle School or Anaconda High School.

The Billy Poole Foundation is proud to sponsor this FREE event for the students of Anaconda, MT.    For almost a decade, the Billy Poole Foundation had provided opportunities for children to get outside and enjoy winter activities.     Tickets, transportation, rentals, lunch are provided at no cost to the children.    All skill levels are invited!  Do not worry if you are new to the sport, give it a try!  We are here to help!

Lots of big smiles!

 

We’re honestly not sure who has the most fun – the Pros or the Kids!

Are You Getting Psyched??

2018 Ski with the Pro’s Weekend is just around the corner…

Are you ready for our 10th Annual Event?  This year is shaping up to be the best yet for the Anaconda’s School District’s skiers & boarders!  Oodles of pro skiers are headed to Discovery to spend time with Anaconda’s new athletes as well as the skiers and boarders they have built relationships with over the years.   Many of our initial participants are now Mentors!

Celebrate Billy with us!   It is a super fun weekend to ski and board with the best in the world.   An amazing time is sure to be had by all.

Billy Poole

Remember Anaconda peeps – Grades 6-8 ski on Saturday, February 3rd and Grades 3-5 on Sunday, February 4th.  Make sure your family has your gear ready, car gassed up and then head over to Ski Discovery.   Get your ski fix prior to the Superbowl!

Legendary skier Julian Carr and some of our little rippers

Share your favorite Ski with the Pro’s experience – we would love to hear it!

Movie & Silent Auction Fundraiser Event – 2016

Warren Miller Movie ~ Here There & Everywhere
and
Silent Auction Fundraiser

Date:  Friday – Nov. 4, 2016
Time:  7pm
Where:  Washoe Theater, Anaconda
Door Price:  Individual $5, Family $20 and 6 and under free

Warren Miller’s – Here There & Everywhere

Ski with the Pros Weekend @ Discovery Basin

Each year a group of extreme Pro Skiers and Snowboarders travel from around the work to Montana to ski with kids who are new to skiing and snowboarding to help inspire a love for winter sports.

This years event will fall on Feb 3 & 4, 2018.

Kids in grades 3-8 are selected based on their signup with the Billy Poole Foundation event Ski with the Pros Weekend. Grades 6-8 will ski on Saturday. Grades 3-5 will ski on Sunday.

Please print the form and return to c/o Billy Poole Foundation at 400 Maple St, Anaconda, MT  59711 by Friday, January 19, 2018.

Event Application Form 2018 (complete online, print and mail)

Some shots from our 2016 Event

BP Ski with a Pro Weekend – Ski Movie and Fundraiser: Volkswagen Presents -Line of Descent

Warren Miller Movie ~ Volkswagon Presens – Line of Descent
and
Silent Auction Fundraiser

Date:  Friday – Nov. 3, 2017
Time:  7pm
Where:  Washoe Theater, Anaconda
Door Price:  Individual $5, Family $20 and 6 and under free

Warren Miller’s – Line of Descent

Promo Video by Rachael Burks

This video shows some of the fun we’ve been having through the years bringing kids to the mountains to learn to ski and get stoked about being outdoors.  Thanks to Rachael Burks for the great edit and for all her bubbly enthusiasm for life.

2016 Movie & Fundraiser Event

Warren Miller Movie ~ Chasing Shadows
and
Silent Auction Fundraiser

Date:  Saturday ~  Jan 30, 2016
Time:  7pm
Where:  Washoe Theater, Anaconda
Door Price: Adults $5, Family $20 and 6 and under free

 

Warren Miller’s – Chasing Shadows

 

Supporting ski programs for kids in honor of the ski legacy of big mountain skier Billy Poole