April 5, 2006

Say It Isn’t So

Multiple sources are confirming that Doug Coombs has been killed while skiing in La Grave, France. Coombs apparently slipped and fell while trying to aid a friend who had just fallen over a cliff. Coombs, 48, was one of the giants of American extreme skiing. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he eschewed the flashier side of the sport, preferring instead to focus on ski mountaineering and guiding.

His quiet, powerful skiing style—and two Extreme Skiing World Championships—earned him recognition as one of the world's best skiers. Coombs later founded Valdez Heli-Ski Guides in Alaska, and a steep-skiing camp in La Grave.

He is survived by his wife, Emily, and young son, David. A memorial fund has been established on their behalf.

Coombs influenced many throughout the skiing world with his flowing style, his generous personality, and his enduring ethics. He will be missed.

Andy Lewicky

ANDY LEWICKY is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer who enjoys good books, jasmine tea, long walks in the rain, and climbing and skiing the big peaks of the California Sierra. email | follow

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Andy Lewicky is a maniac, basically. I advise you to back away, slowly—and don't make any sudden moves.

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