Doug Coombs

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Doug Coombs
Born (1957-09-24)September 24, 1957
Bedford, Massachusetts
Died La Grave April 3, 2006(2006-04-03) (aged 48)
Couloir de Polichinelle in La Grave, France
Nationality  United States
Occupation Alpine Skier and Mountaineer
Known for Extreme skiing, film appearances (including Steep (2007) and Warren Miller films)
Spouse(s) Emily Coombs (nee Gladstone)
Awards World Extreme Skiing Champion (1991 and 1993)

Doug Coombs (September 24, 1957 – April 3, 2006) was an American alpine skier and mountaineer who helped to pioneer the sport of extreme skiing, both in North America and worldwide.

Biography[edit]

Coombs was born in Boston and grew up in Bedford, Massachusetts, skiing in New Hampshire and Vermont.[1] He attended Montana State University in Bozeman where he honed his skiing skills at nearby Bridger Bowl before becoming a fixture of the extreme skiing scene in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, helping to found Valdez Heli-Ski Guides (and the heliskiing industry) in Alaska in 1994, and twice winning the World Extreme Skiing Championship, in 1991 and 1993.[2]

Coombs married Emily Gladstone in 1992, and in 1993 they founded Doug Coombs Steep Skiing Camps Worldwide in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In 1997 the Coombs' moved the business to Europe, and the company continues to operate today in La Grave and Chamonix, in the French Alps.[3] Doug and his wife Emily have a son, David.[4]

Death[edit]

While skiing with friends on April 3, 2006, Doug Coombs died from a severe fall at the Couloir de Polichinelle in La Grave, France. He was trying to rescue his friend Chad VanderHam, who had fallen himself. Both skiers fell approximately 1500 feet. Doug Coombs was found dead after the fall, and VanderHam later died from his injuries.[4][5][6] Coombs was 48.

A memorial for Coombs was held at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on June 25, 2006.[7] A run on the upper part of the mountain is named after him as well.[8]

Filmography[edit]

While not an exhaustive list, Doug Coombs has been featured in a number of ski films, including:

  • Groove: Requiem In the Key of Ski (1991, Greg Stump), competing in the Extreme Skiing Invitational at Blackcomb, in which he complains that the course, in the Saudan Couloir, isn't extreme
  • Aspen Extreme (1993), credited as stunt skier [9]
  • Teton Gravity Research's The Continuum (1996)
  • Warren Miller's Cold Fusion (2001)
  • Warren Miller's Storm (2002)
  • Warren Miller's Journey (2003)
  • Waiting Game (2005)
  • Fantastic Four (2005), stunts
  • Warren Miller's Off the Grid (2006) contains a tribute to Doug Coombs
  • Steep (2007) [10]
  • Swift. Silent. Deep. (2010), archive footage.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nathaniel Vinton, "Skiing Beyond Safety's Edge Once Too Often" New York Times May 17, 2006.
  2. ^ Porter Fox, "Legendary: Remembering Doug Coombs" Powder 35, no. 1 (Sept. 2006): 76-87, on 77.
  3. ^ Doug Coombs Steep Skiing Camps Worldwide
  4. ^ a b Doug Coombs, 48, Dies in French Alps Accident NY Times
  5. ^ A LEGEND FALLS: 4/5 - Coombs died in fall over cliff Powder Magazine
  6. ^ Industry mourns the death of Doug Coombs, a humble legend; VanderHam also dies SNEWS, snewsnet.com
  7. ^ Memorial in Jackson Hole - June 25, 2006 Doug Coombs Memorial Fund
  8. ^ Jackson Hole ski guide: top five runs telegraph.co.uk
  9. ^ Doug Coombs at the Internet Movie Database
  10. ^ Steep Steep on The Documentary Group's (production company) website