R.I.P. CR Johnson

Just got off the phone with some good friends at Freeskier and Snowboard Magazines and learned some painful news. The news of the sudden death of a friend and one of the great skiers of our generation, CR Johnson. I feel compelled to share this here, in large part because we connected through photography.

According to eyewitnesses, CR got caught up on rocks going off a cliff on Light Towers at his local Squaw Valley, went over the handlebars and hit his head and neck on rocks on the landing. According to Squaw Valley spokeswoman Amelia Richmond, witnesses immediately notified ski patrol and medical personnel arrived on the scene within minutes. Despite efforts to revive Johnson, who was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident, he succumbed to his injuries.

CR, you will be missed.

I had the good fortune of getting to know CR by way of photographing him extensively through his meteoric rise to skiing fame in the early part of last decade. We spent a good bit of time together on movie segments in Alaska as well time at his first X-Games appearance many years ago. (I grabbed the above shot of him at X-Games practice in 2003. Check the amplitude and style, even 7 years ago…).

I can say with conviction, he was a person of enormous character and will be dearly missed. Words from his one of his recent social media posts say it best: “Live your life, love your life. Don’t regret… Live, learn, and move forward positively.” -CR

I’m thankful that photography connected us.

Great messages at Freeskier.com as well as news story at ESPN.com if you’re interested in reading more. Respect.

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CR was the man. He is already missed.


Chase Jarvis says:

Thanks for all the kind wishes – means a lot to me and my friends in the ski/snowboard industries, and most importantly, to CR and his family.

kids games says:

What a terrible accident. My sincere condolences.

Joel says:

Whereas, I'm sad for his friends and family, I'm also very glad he lived. And he definitely LIVED.

Jonny says:

Another legend passes… Shane McConkey last March, now CR. It's been a rough year for our sport. RIP CR, you'll be missed.

CallumW says:

Sorry to hear about your loss :(

Darien Chin says:

The good die young. RIP CR

The Stevens says:

I read about this earlier today. I am terribly sorry about your loss. I pray that his family and friends will find peace.

Anonymous says:

I never met CR personally, but was a fan. Great post, Chase.

-Scott MacIntire
The Art Institute of Seattle
Photography / Digital Film & Video
206-239-2337 | smacintire@aii.edu

Peter says:

This is very tragic!

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Guillaume says:

I join you in this sadness as I lost a friend last saturday in an avalanche in Mont Blanc du Tacul (couloir Jager). The mountain is stronger. Sorry to read of your loss Chase.

Mike Wilson says:

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. My thoughts go out to you, his family, and his friends. It's always a tragedy when someone so young passes.

yo_sarrian says:

So sorry to hear about your friend's death. Much love to you, his family and the rest of his friends!

Mikey says:

That is such sad new!! My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends!

rob says:

I'll say prayer for his family and friends… My God bless them

Benny says:

Message from CR left on his MySpace on 2/23:


God grant him passage into a great reward. Much respect.


PJ says:

I followed CR for year in his ski videos. He was super talented. May he rest in peace.

So sorry to hear this news Chase. It's a wonderful story how the two of you connected, and although CR may not be here In person, he and his legend can live vicariously through your wonderful images. I too lost a close friend recently and it's a rough time but I hope that you're ok. My thoughts are with CR and his family, he sounds like an incredible individual and I have a lot of respect for someone who could live so freely doing what they love despite the risk. RIP CR.

I remember meeting CR when I was an Intern at Powder in 2001 – we were at the opening of one of the TGR ski flicks and he was there. Well actually he was outside – he wasn't old enough to get into the bar that was showing the flick. he waited outside all night to hear what we thought of the movie. He was so stoked and thrilled to be on the cusp of 'making it'. well he well and truly made it. He fought back from serious adversity and showed an amazing amount of courage and strength. nice guy, amazing skier and a bright light that will be missed.

Scott Kennedy
writer – photographer – filmmaker
Queenstown, New Zealand

Andy says:

R.I.P. brother.

Francesco B. says:

So sad

My thoughts go to his family and friends

Glyn Dewis says:

So sorry to hear the news Chase.

Thoughts are with his family & friends.


Timothy Lusk says:

Sorry to hear this, Chase. May his contributions to skiing live on through the images you capture. RIP, CR.

Charlie says:

that quote from him is awesome – the world needs more people with that attitude. Really sorry to hear you lost your friend, Chase and I'm also sad for the rest of us that someone with such an excellent positive outlook has died. The world needs more people like that, not less.

Matt says:

I'll keep his friends, like yourself, and his family in prayer tonight. That's tough… I've only gotten into freestyle skiing recently, so I'm not too familiar with all he accomplished, but he sounded like a man worth knowing, on and off the slope. May he rest in peace.

Keith says:

I'm sorry to have not known this man personally.
He had the courage to truly live.
A rare individual, indeed.

Gerry Hanan says:

Chase – I am sorry to read of your loss. I will pray for you and for your friends family.


It's sad to see such a terrible event occur especially in someone who has an amazing talent as his. As sad as it is, at least his family and friends can say he died doing what he loved.

javajive says:

I'm very sorry to read this, Chase. May your friend rest in peace.

Sorry to hear of your loss, skiing/snowboarding's loss and the world's loss. Love to his family, friends and other fans like myself who will miss him from this day forward.

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