Jill Kinmont Boothe

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Jill Kinmont Boothe
Born(1936-02-16)February 16, 1936
DiedFebruary 9, 2012(2012-02-09) (aged 75)
Resting placeEast Line Street Cemetery
Bishop, California
Alma materUCLA
Known forski racing, quadriplegia, tenacity
Spouse(s)John G. Boothe (b.1941)
(m.1976–2012, her death)

Jill Kinmont Boothe (February 16, 1936 – February 9, 2012) was a notable American alpine ski racer. Her life story was turned into two major Hollywood movies The Other Side of the Mountain and its sequel The Other Side of the Mountain Part 2.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Kinmont grew up in Bishop and learned to ski race at Mammoth Mountain in the Sierra Nevada mountains. In early 1955, she was the reigning national champion in the slalom, and a top prospect for a medal at the 1956 Winter Olympics, a year away.

At age 18, Kinmont competed in the giant slalom at the prestigious Snow Cup in Alta, Utah, on January 30, 1955.[1][2][3] She suffered a near-fatal accident which resulted in paralysis from the shoulders down.[4][5] That same week, she had been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, dated January 31, 1955.[6]

Kinmont was engaged to ski racer and "daredevil" Dick Buek (1929–1957) at the time of his death, according to her autobiography.

After her rehabilitation, she went on to graduate from UCLA with a B.A. in German[7] and earned a teaching credential from the University of Washington in Seattle. She had a long career as an educator, first in Washington and then in Beverly Hills, California. She taught special education at Bishop Union Elementary School from 1975 to 1996 in her hometown of Bishop. She was an accomplished painter who had many exhibitions of her artwork.

Kinmont was the subject of two movies: The Other Side of the Mountain in 1975,[8] and The Other Side of the Mountain Part 2 in 1978. Both films starred Marilyn Hassett as Kinmont.

Following "fifteen long days of incessant questioning and picture-taking"[9] by Life reporter Janet Mason and Life photographer Burk Uzzle, Life magazine published a 14-page photographic article about Jill's status nine years after the accident.[10]

At age forty, she married trucker John Boothe of Bishop in November 1976,[11] and they made their home in Bishop until shortly before her death.[12]

Jill Boothe died February 9, 2012, at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center. The cause of death was not released, and a report that Boothe died of complications related to surgery was not confirmed by the coroner.[13] She lived 57 years past her paralyzing ski accident and is buried in the East Line Street Cemetery in Bishop.

Boothe was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1967.


  1. ^ "Broken back, partial paralysis ski spill results". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 31, 1955. p. 10.
  2. ^ "Olympic skier hurt; course too fast". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. January 31, 1955. p. 16.
  3. ^ "'Cover girl' breaks back; fast course hurts skiers". Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. January 31, 1955. p. 10-part 2.
  4. ^ "Paralyzed ski-miss ready for trip home". Spokesman-Review. (Spokesman-Review). Associated Press. March 25, 1955. p. 16.
  5. ^ Phillips, Harry (February 28, 1955). "Memo from the publisher". Sports Illustrated: 8.
  6. ^ "Apple pie in Sun Valley". Sports Illustrated. January 31, 1955. p. 42.
  7. ^ Valens, E. G., 1966, 1975 The other Side of the Mountain, Warner Books Edition, p. 270
  8. ^ Witchel, Dina B. (February 1976). "An Extra-ordinary Jill". Skiing. p. 92.
  9. ^ Valens, E. G., 1966, 1975 The other Side of the Mountain, Warner Books Edition, p. 283
  10. ^ Mason, Janet and Uzzle, Burk (June 19, 1964) "Jill Kinmont's Courage", Life, Time Inc., Vol. 56, No. 25, pp. 75-88
  11. ^ Armstrong, Lois (December 20, 1976). "They should be writing songs of love about Jill Kinmont, wheelchair bride". People. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  12. ^ Gervais, Mike (February 13, 2012). "Jill Kinmont Boothe mourned at 75". Inyo Register. Archived from the original on March 14, 2013.
  13. ^ Boxall, Bettina (February 11, 2012). "Jill Kinmont Boothe dies at 75; ski champ disabled in crash became role model". Los Angeles Times.

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