Matthew Jamison "Jamie" Pierre (February 22, 1973 – November 13, 2011) was a professional free skier. Pierre set a world-record cliff jump of 255 feet (78 m) at the Grand Targhee Resort in Wyoming. He skied away with a bleeding cut lip from being hit by a shovel when his partners dug him out of his 12 foot bomb hole. Google's Sergey Brin had estimated that Pierre was almost at terminal velocity when he hit the ground. Pierre died in November 2011 in an avalanche.
Matthew Jamison Pierre was born February 22, 1973. According to the London Daily Telegraph, out of eight children, Jamie was third; he was born a son of Pam and Gerard Pierre. Jamie started skiing at age ten at Buck Hill, Minnesota, and quickly picked up the craving for more. He graduated high school and decided to live life as a “skibum”. Jamie worked menial jobs to pay for his expensive passion at various resorts with his brother, Chris Pierre. In 1995, he was able to enter an extreme skiing competition, the beginning to many adventures. Jamie Pierre spent the next ten years progressing his skiing and the size of cliffs he jumped. However, at age 32 in 2005 he got married and had a daughter. Pierre decided, ”The plan is to ski more, fall out of the sky less”.
By being one of the few skiers known for going the biggest, Pierre played a key role in some of the major ski films of his time. This work included parts in many different film companies, including Warren Miller, Teton Gravity Research, Matchstick Productions Flying Circus and Rage Films. While working for Warren Miller, Pierre took parts in five movies: Cold Fusion in 2001, Journey in 2003, Off the Grid in 2006, Playground in 2007 and Children of Winter in 2008.
World Record Huck
Jamie Pierre was known for pushing the limits of skiing off cliffs. He began to be followed by the media in 1999 when a black and white photo appeared in Powder Magazine of Pierre leaping off a forty foot cliff. The size of the cliffs he was jumping were increasing quickly, starting at 50 feet, and soon were up to 90 feet. His first 100 footers were off of crags in Utah. “Pierre began to question how high he could go. What were the limits?” Soon Jamie Pierre was jumping a cliff 165 feet in Wolverine Cirque Utah; he cleared this monster cliff in 2003. In Engelberg, Switzerland he cleared a 185 foot cliff around March 2004. Before settling down, Pierre wanted to go big, bigger than anyone else had before. The record at the time was jumped at 225 feet and Jamie Pierre wanted to beat it. After scoping out many cliffs, he finally decided on one, a 255 footer in the backcountry of Grand Targhee resort. “Hail Mary” are the words Jamie yelled before hucking his body off this world record cliff. Around a dozen people were watching, including photographers, family, friends, and spectators. Plunging headfirst into the snow, Jamie Pierre got that three seconds of the feeling he had always craved. Finally, he held the world record for landing the tallest cliff on skis on Jan 25, 2006. In 2008 Fred Syversen beat this record by surviving a 351 foot cliff, unintentional by Syversen, and may or may not count.
Life with Drugs and Christianity
Born into a Lutheran family, Jamie Pierre went to church with his family every Sunday as a kid. As he grew up, however, he fell out of religion; he still believed in God, but he did not follow his religion devoutly. At age fourteen, he began to smoke marijuana, a habit that followed him for the next fifteen years. He also drank excessive amounts, sometimes to the point that he would just blackout and not wake up until the next morning. This continued for many years as he lived his life as a skier and through his pro career. He chose to rededicate his life to Jesus, and practiced his faith for the rest of his life.
On November 13, 2011  Jamie Pierre was hiking at Snowbird Resort in Utah to ski some early season snow. The resort was not open and no avalanche control had been done. Pierre and his friend, Jack Pilot, were planning to ski the area known as South Chute. He triggered an avalanche that rolled him over rocks for 800 feet. According to The New York Times, “He came to a stop partly buried and died of trauma”. He is survived by his wife, and two children, a daughter and a son.
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- Roxana Orellana; Sheena Mcfarland. "Professional Skier Jamie Pierre Dies in Avalanche at Snowbird". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 24 Apr 2012.
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