#RideAnotherDay. That’s the hashtag for a new campaign from the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) in cooperation with parents, Kelli and Chauncey Johnson.
On Christmas Eve Day in 2010, the Johnsons, who live in northern Wyoming, took their three children Elise (5), Millie (3) and Logan (4 months) skiing at Hogadon Ski Area near Casper.
It was a life-changing day for the Johnson family, and not in a good way.
Kelli was skiing with Elise, while Chauncey had charge of the two younger children. While skiing together, mother and daughter were hit by a speeding snowboarder, a 23-year-old Casper local.
“I remember going up the chairlift with her (Elise), and we were discussing which run we wanted to go on,” Kelli shared with Colorado Public Radio in January 2017. “I remember starting out that run with her…she actually was doing so well that I was actually having her follow me.”
From that point on, Kelli’s memory is limited. She recalls helping Elise put her ski back on after a fall. And then everything is blank.
The collision killed Elise and the snowboarder. It left Kelli in a coma with a severe brain injury and a paralyzed arm.
While the pain of this loss will never go away, the Johnsons are creating a meaningful and lasting legacy for Elise. Working with NSAA, they have begun a national conversation about responsible skiing and riding.
“My hope is to truly get this message out there to others,” explains Kelli in an article in the NSAA Journal. “If anyone hears this message even once, they will hopefully change how they act and conduct themselves out on the mountain.”
Be Ready. Be ready to avoid objects and other skiers and riders.
Stay Alert. Stay alert to what’s going on around you. Be especially alert to other skiers and riders.
Plan Ahead. Ease up at blind spots. Check uphill when merging onto trails. Give others plenty of room when passing.
While serious and deadly ski and snowboard accidents are blessedly rare, every accident and collision is one accident too many.
Please review the #RideAnotherDay rules with your family. And please share this post with others.
Our goal is to spread the word about on-mountain safety, not to scare anyone. The Johnsons hope that in sharing their story, everyone will all commit to a higher level of safety and responsibility every time we ski or ride.
Please join us in sharing this story and the #RideAnotherDay initiative.
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