Posted by: Shanie Matthews | February 26, 2010

Goodbye to a Hero…

It is once again a sad day in our skiing community.

We have lost another hero.

Tragedy struck Squaw Valley, California on Wednesday, when CR Johnson fell on Light Towers, a steep run off of Headwall Chair, hitting his head in what resulted in a fatal blow.

Our snow riding tribe has been hit with many deaths in the last few years, it seems. The passing of legends has brought us closer with tears, feelings of grief and tremendous sadness. But it also has inspired a bond of truth.

You see, CR has now joined the heroes that lived their lives fully, joyfully, and with unbridled passion.

I was fortunate enough to get to know CR when he was a rising star. At the tender age of 15, he, his father, a few others, and myself got to rip up some steep, adrenaline-filled lines in Alaska with Points North Heli. It was a fabulous day that will always be shining in my mind. Not just because the descents were all time, but more importantly, the company was a stellar vibe that brought laughter and many, many smiles.

CR was a kind, loving soul. Watching him grow from being a bit tentative in Alaska to one of the greatest skiers in our chosen passion, all with a huge smile, tight hug and magnetizing energy, has been an immense pleasure. Even after an injury nearly destroyed his life a few years ago, he picked up the pieces, worked his way back and conquered, competing and placing well in freeskiing events…doing all of this with a sincere kindness that brought smiles to other people’s faces.

CR’s ability to live in the moment of love, happiness and fulfilling your dreams is what we all should strive for.

He has now joined the other heroes that are watching over us. I imagine there are some seriously great lines being skied in Skiing Paradise right now.

Thank you CR for being a shining star. Your vibrant energy will fly with us forever.



  1. […] few weeks ago, when I learned that CR had passed, I started to wonder if others in my familial tribe where thinking about the lessons […]

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