Kye Would Do It
Like the father he hardly knew, Kye Petersen is out to conquer the biggest mountains around
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WHEN YOU SEE 18-year-old Canadian Kye Petersen skiing on filmin Teton Gravity Research flicks like Anomaly and Lost and Foundhe’s invariably launching a 60-foot, off-axis spin from a cornice. But as Utah-based writer William A. Kerig explains in The Edge of Never (Stone Creek Publications, $16), there’s more to Kye’s story than just another hairball segment.
The Edge of NeverThe Edge of Never by William A. Kerig
Kye’s dad, Trevor Petersen, helped shape the sport of extreme skiing. With his ski partner, fellow Canadian Eric Pehota, he was among the first to blend French-style alpinism with the fluid grace perfected by North American freeskiers. But Kye never really got to know his father. Trevor was killed by an avalanche in Chamonix’s Exit Couloir in 1996, when his son was six. Kye grew up with his mom and sister, skiing the mountains near his hometown of Whistler in the glare of the ski-media spotlight.
The Edge of Never recaps all this, but Kerig focuses on Kye’s 2005 trip to Chamonixhis first exposure to the realities of the Alps. Accompanied by a documentary crew and some of the world’s most accomplished skiers, including mohawked American icon Glen Plake and others who’d worked with his father, Kye descended some of the last lines Trevor ever skied. The trip’s highlight was his terrifying descent of the 55-degree Exit Couloir, which Kerig recounts grippingly. “Now I know the difference,” Kye told Kerig afterwards. “I’ve always wanted to see what my father saw, where he went. Now I’ve been there. Now I know.”
A documentary about the expedition, also titled The Edge of Never, is scheduled forrelease in late 2009. Meanwhile, Kye keeps skiing and filming with TGR, and last winter he returned to Chamonix and reconnected with Plake. But he’s still feeling the impact of those first runs in the Alps. “It was a life-changing trip,” he says now, admitting that he wasn’t ready for the attention. “They jumped the gun on me a little bit.”