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Thread: R.I.P. Jerry Leon
02-16-2004, 09:26 AM #1
R.I.P. Jerry Leon
Anyone hear about a guy that got lost & died at Snowbowl, Montana a couple weeks ago? Apparently he was skiing & got lost. At the end of the day his car was in the parking lot and no one thought much of it. Seven, yes SEVEN FUCKING DAYS LATER, the cops look into it and call the registered address and talk to someone. Jerry Leon was making his annual pilgrimage to Red mt. to visit old friends and ski some of his favorite lines.
Jerry ski raced when he was "old." I was sabout 15 so I figure he was close to 30. He didn't race to be the best. He raced for fun. He was a great guy to have around. Super friendly and always had a sparkle in his eye. I remember driving home from a Race in Revelstoke, the coach & everyone but myself & Gerry were sleeping in the van with Gerry driving. With the headlights off with the full moon shining down on us we drove beneath the Valhalla range for about 20 minutes. Absolutely stunning. Then, with no warning he screamed, "BRAKE CHECK" and slammed on the brakes waking everyone in the bus up as they fell on the floor.
Jerry will be missed by many.
Last edited by Beaver; 02-16-2004 at 10:01 AM.You are what you eat.
There's no such thing as bad snow, just shitty skiers.
02-16-2004, 09:45 AM #2
its near missoula
and yeah, it sucks, sorry for your loss.
 didnt read your whole post. removed snowball comment when i saw you knew him[/edit]
Last edited by fez; 02-16-2004 at 09:49 AM."They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
02-16-2004, 10:00 AM #3
Ontario skier's body found
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Searchers on Thursday recovered the body of a Canadian skier who had been missing since last week after buying a lift ticket at a ski area near here.
Search co-ordinator Dave Ball, a sergeant with the Missoula County Sheriff's Department, said the body of Jerry Leon of Thornhill, Ont., was discovered by searchers in one of two shelters Leon had built for protection from the elements. Ball said Friday that it appeared Leon had survived at least two nights but probably died of exposure.
Ball said Leon's identification indicated he was 54, although Leon's sister said he was 57.
Leon bought a ticket at the Snowbowl ski area on Jan. 28. No one knew he was missing until officials noticed his car parked in the same spot at the ski area parking lot after several days.
Ball said Leon had not been to Snowbowl previously. It appeared the skier may have become lost during a heavy snowstorm on Jan. 28, and ended up in a steep drainage some distance outside the ski area.
Leon apparently attempted to hike down the drainage, following a creek, but was hindered by waist-deep snow, Ball said.
"He left his skis. He built a snow cave and we think he spent probably a day or two in the shelter and tried to build a fire," Ball said. "It doesn't appear that he was successful."
About a half-kilometre from that shelter, Leon apparently attempted to build a second shelter in some trees, where his body was found.
Ball said searchers began combing the drainage after two other skiers who had ended up in the same area last Friday reported finding a pair of abandoned skis.
Those skiers were able to hike back to Snowbowl, but were not aware until Tuesday that another skier was missing, Ball said. They called authorities and were able to point searchers to the area, he added.You are what you eat.
There's no such thing as bad snow, just shitty skiers.
02-16-2004, 10:38 AM #4
Wow, sorry to hear about that Beav, but it's amazing how stories change. I was delivering over at Red last week and Marv, the help guy told me that story, but it was a little different.
He said Jerry never arrived in Rossland and one of the guys from Red, where he was to stay, started wondering after a few days, what gave. They knew he was coming that way and made calls, to discover that his car was in this parking lot in Montana, had been there for a few days and no one had bothered to look into things. The guys from Rossland phoned the local police, but they woudn't bother to put together a search party for some reason. So, the boys from Rossland went down to search for him and found him buried in an avalanche. To top things off, some local kids had found his skiis and had just "taken them" and didn't report finding them until a couple of days later.
Not that the different story makes the loss any less shitty, it just goes to show how things get twisted as it goes around.
I do have to say that it is pretty fucked up that, when a car hasn't moved in a ski parking lot for a few days, the ski area wouldn't have looked into things a little more. You'd think that even overnight, an out of state/province car that hadn't moved would set off the alarm bells, for someone to look into things.
02-16-2004, 01:07 PM #5recreational chemist
- Join Date
- Sep 2001
sorry about your friend...
02-16-2004, 01:35 PM #6
kinda makes you think. Instead of making those radio tags for products to track in walmart, why not put em in lift tickets? Then track with a tower at the end of the day to see if anyone is left on the mountain...
02-17-2004, 05:36 PM #7Registered User
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
Man, what a huge bummer. I hadn't seen Jerry for years but often wondered about him. As I recall, when he ski raced with us he worked as a jockey in the summer season to earn his cash. He was the ultimate spendthrift and as Beav said, was in it for fun. He was the kind of guy who always had time for anyone, regardless of who they were, and would give you the shirt off his back.
Any of you canucks have probably heard of Leon's furniture stores. Jerry's family owns the chain of stores or at least they did for many years, not sure if they still do. Jerry always bucked the family and did what he pleased and dreamt. Jerry refused to follow the families wishes but instead followed his own dreams. While he came from a pretty wealthy family, he lived the life of a ski bum with no financial help from his family. He was truly a great guy and it is with a deep sense of sadness that I hear of his death.
As has already been said, it is sad that he was not discovered missing until a week after the fact. It is easy to point fingers and lay blame. Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own wellbeing. This does not mean that we should not look out for each other, it simply means that when we venture into the woods alone, we accept the additional risk and the fact that we severely limit our chances for a timely rescue should we get in trouble. I think it is unfair to put the blame on anyone. Jerry was a free spirit and did what he wanted when he wanted. I am sure that he would not want anyone to be blamed or suffer as a result of his death and would take full responsibility for it.
I have skied alone as I am sure every maggot here has. Perhaps the next time we are tempted, we will remember this incident and the tragedy of an amazing life cut short. Be safe fellow maggots.
Last edited by JR; 02-17-2004 at 05:45 PM.
02-17-2004, 05:42 PM #8
Truely a sad story. It sounds as though he will be missed by many. Take care and make sure SOMEONE knows where you are if you're skiing alone.