On Skis and a Prayer
Inside Jamie Pierre's record leap at Grand Targhee
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UNTIL THIS PAST WINTER, the 255-foot cliff off the back side of Wyoming’s Grand Targhee ski area was an unnamed piece of scenery promising majestic views of the Grand Teton and, for anyone who would dare ski off it, probable death. But now it’s known as Pierre’s Point, named after Salt Lake City resident Jamie Pierre, 33, who skied off the monster on January 25, landing upside down in a snowbank—but landing alive. “It was an opportunity to witness the glory of God and share the word of the Lord,” says the deeply religious Pierre. It also shattered the record for the world’s tallest cliff huck, previously a 225-foot jump by New Zealander Paul Ahern. Pierre’s personal best had been a 185-footer in Engelberg, Switzerland, in 2003, which he said would be his last big jump. But with Targhee enjoying its best snow in a decade, conditions at the cliff were too tempting. So, after warming up with a group prayer, Pierre clicked into his 188-centimeter Salomons and launched over the edge. “If someone steps up and beats it, they can have it,” he says. “I’m done.”