Just got off the phone with some good friends at Freeskier and Snowboard Magazines and learned some painful news. The news of the sudden death of a friend and one of the great skiers of our generation, CR Johnson. I feel compelled to share this here, in large part because we connected through photography.
According to eyewitnesses, CR got caught up on rocks going off a cliff on Light Towers at his local Squaw Valley, went over the handlebars and hit his head and neck on rocks on the landing. According to Squaw Valley spokeswoman Amelia Richmond, witnesses immediately notified ski patrol and medical personnel arrived on the scene within minutes. Despite efforts to revive Johnson, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident, he succumbed to his injuries.
CR, you will be missed.
I had the good fortune of getting to know CR by way of photographing him extensively through his meteoric rise to skiing fame in the early part of last decade. We spent a good bit of time together on movie segments in Alaska as well time at his first X-Games appearance many years ago. (I grabbed the above shot of him at X-Games practice in 2003. Check the amplitude and style, even 7 years ago…).
I can say with conviction, he was a person of enormous character and will be dearly missed. Words from his one of his recent social media posts say it best: “Live your life, love your life. Don’t regret… Live, learn, and move forward positively.” -CR
I’m thankful that photography connected us.
Great messages at Freeskier.com as well as news story at ESPN.com if you’re interested in reading more. Respect.
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LIVE YOUR LIFE, LOVE YOUR LIFE. DON’T REGRET… LIVE, LEARN, AND MOVE FORWARD POSITIVELY. -CR
I remember meeting CR when I was an Intern at Powder in 2001 – we were at the opening of one of the TGR ski flicks and he was there. Well actually he was outside – he wasn't old enough to get into the bar that was showing the flick. he waited outside all night to hear what we thought of the movie. He was so stoked and thrilled to be on the cusp of 'making it'. well he well and truly made it. He fought back from serious adversity and showed an amazing amount of courage and strength. nice guy, amazing skier and a bright light that will be missed.
writer – photographer – filmmaker
Queenstown, New Zealand
So sorry to hear the news Chase.
Thoughts are with his family & friends.
It's sad to see such a terrible event occur especially in someone who has an amazing talent as his. As sad as it is, at least his family and friends can say he died doing what he loved.
Sorry to hear of your loss, skiing/snowboarding's loss and the world's loss. Love to his family, friends and other fans like myself who will miss him from this day forward.