Five years and five days ago, on April 3rd, 2006, one of the most important skiers of my generation according the US Ski Hall of Fame, died from falling over a cliff at the Couloir de Polichinelle in La Grave, France. Doug Coombs was trying to rescue friend Chad VanderHam who had fallen before him.
Doug was a pioneer that brought Extreme camps to the public in Jackson Hole and Heliskiing to the Chugach mountain in Alaska. He was also the winner of first and third WESC (Western Extreme Ski Competition) starting in 1991. Doug is heavily features in the ski documentary Steep, he passed away a few weeks later. One of Doug’s heros was Frenchmen Patrick Vallençant, last week feature on Friday Night Video, who died in the same week seventeen years ago.
Born in Massachusetts on September 24, 1957, started skiing his parents in New England before moving out to Montana and then Wyoming. He was elected in the US Ski Hall of Fame in 2009.
The clip is taken from Warren Miller Entertainment’s Off The Grid:
The Pistehors link contains information on La Grave, Doug, the accident and ski forums links: Two Americans killed in La Grave Ski Accident
The Snowskiing Channel: Doug Coombs, the Skier’s Skier
Swift, Silent, Deep: Doug Coombs Inducted into Skiing Hall of Fame
Wikipedia on Doug Coombs which has a list of ski movies.