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Missed Turns, A Slipping Helmet, And Being In The Wrong Place. It’s All In A Day’s Work.

Hey, George, wait up!
Credit: Harriet Wallis

Covering a ski race is easy. Racers will be on the course.

But shadowing 100 year old George Jedenoff on Alta’s ski runs had challenges. Furthermore, we had two different genres going: A Ski Utah crew was videoing him, and I was shooting still photos I needed to stay out of the way of their cameras. It’s already getting complicated.

Here are some of the funny things that happened to me on the slopes with George for two days.

Can’t outski a 100 year old. We started from the top of a lift and George was in the lead. When he paused, I bulleted ahead to position myself at the side of the trail to snap photos as he’d ski by.

I yanked off my gloves and grabbed my camera. But before I could point it … there goes George… and he was gone. Repeat. Repeat.

When you come to a fork, take it. Skiers love George. They see him on the slopes and gather around him to talk and take photos. He is so gracious.

While Ski Utah videoed an impromptu trailside gathering, I knew I had lead time. I left the group, skied ahead, and chose the perfect spot to get my photos. I was on a steep slope under a chairlift.. My camera was ready. I waited and waited, but no George.

Then the group called down to me from the lift overhead. I looked up — and my helmet fell down over my eyes. I was stuck in my helmet and could see nothing. I felt really stupid.

I pushed my helmet back into place and wondered how George got past me. The main trail had a fork, and he opted for the side trail. Missed him again.

Deep powder, but over there. Another wrong guess. This time, we separated on purpose. George and the video crew took the high road to video him skiing deep powder. I took the low road and positioned myself for the best still shots.

But George didn’t appear on the most likely open slope. He found the snow up there was worn out, so he moved on down the ridge — out of sight behind dense evergreen trees — in search of fresher powder.

He found the fresh snow he wanted. But I couldn’t find George. Missed him again. But George had a wonderful time. That’s what really counts.

To read more from Harriet click here for her stories on SkiUtah.

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