This article originally appeared on Snowboarder.com and has been republished with permission. Photos by Jesse Dawson.
On Monday November 25th, a private ceremony was held in the Spruce Base Lodge at Stowe Mountain, Vermont for Jake Burton Carpenter’s friends and family to commemorate his life. The prodigious post and beam room was filled with people from across the globe, direct family, various Vermonters, and a tremendous assortment of the snowboard community. A significant population of the funeral attendees were in snowboard gear and after the eulogies were spoken, migrated to the Fourrunner Quad to take some runs in Jake’s honor, a melancholic yet beautiful opportunity to join together in the activity that Jake had such a profound influence in giving us.
As we made our way to the lift, I noticed Terje Haakonson talking quietly with Danny Davis and a few other riders behind the pack. They seemed to be planning something, dare I say, mischievous. It was then that I realized Terje did not have a snowboard at his feet, but rather, a snowskate. As many snowskaters know, resorts don’t generally allow the binding-less boards on the lifts. Despite the haphazard human shield created in an attempt to block the line of sight to the liftie, Terje would not go unnoticed. Knowing it was against policy, the lift attendant was not too keen on letting ol’ T up on to the slope with this unapproved device. Everyone in the crew stopped and made their way to the edges of the line to wait.
Though I couldn’t decipher the exact words, the famed Norweigan appeared to discuss his point of view calmly and I stared transfixed at the two of them While watching Terje discuss how comfortable he was riding this foreign object, and how it was perfectly safe for him to get on the lift, I imagined a similar day in the late seventies, when Jake was first trying to promote snowboarding at local resorts. I thought of all the videos I’ve seen of people hating that snowboarders were showing up on their ski hills and I thought about how Terje was effectively arguing to be allowed to stand sideways.
As I watched Terje do his best attempt at reasoning with the liftee, I smiled briefly, knowing that if Jake were there he would have been right there next to Terje, advocating for him to get to the top and ride sideways in the way he saw most fit. Whether it Jake’s energy, or just an overwhelming amount of energy radiating from our group, Terje was allowed on the lift, and did one hell of a job getting down. Thanks Jake, I can say with certainty that snowboarding wouldn’t have the same “edge” without you.
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