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12-Year-Old Blind Skier Sends Big Sky’s Big Couloir

The Big Couloir is arguably one of Big Sky’s most daunting runs. It’s a 1,000-foot vertical shot with a sustained pitch of 50 degrees. The iconic run is on the bucket list of most big mountain skiers, and skiing it is no small task. In 2019, 12-year-old Jacob Smith descended the formidable couloir, joining the ranks of other high caliber athletes. But unlike most skiers, Smith skied it blind, becoming the first blind skier to ever do so.

At the age of eight, Smith lost his vision due to a brain tumor. Despite not being able to see, Smith still skis Big Sky regularly thanks to his memorization of the mountain and use of other senses. Skiing the Big Couloir has always been a big goal of his, and his hope is that this accomplishment shows others that it’s possible to overcome tough odds. This short film follows his journey to the Big Couloir, and is a powerful reminder that if there's a will, then there's a way. Congratulations, Jacob!

I definitely want to show people that it doesn’t matter if you’re legally blind, completely blind or paralyzed — it doesn’t stop there. You can go on and do whatever you want. If you have a love for the sport you can kind of figure out how to work your way around anything. Live life to the fullest. - Jacob Smith

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Elyse Saugstad: On My Own Terms
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Elyse Saugstad: On My Own Terms

Elyse Saugstad: On My Own Terms

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Watch Freeride World Qualifier’s Hakuba Stop
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