That’s the new hashtag from the NSAA and parents Kelli and Chauncey Johnson
On Christmas Eve 2010, the unthinkable happened to the Johnson family when they took their three children – Elise, 5, Millie, 3, and Logan, 4 months – skiing at Hogadon Ski Area near Casper, Wyoming.
Hogadon is a family-friendly ski area with 600-feet of vertical that is spread out over 60 acres, with 27 trails, one double chair lift and a magic carpet used for beginners. It is known as one of the only upside down ski resorts in the states. This means that the lift is located at the bottom of the mountain, and the lodge is located on the summit.
The Johnson family painfully remembers one of their favorite days, the day before Christmas. Kelli Johnson had taken her daughter Elise to ski down a run, leaving her husband Chauncy with their two other kids. What would happen in the next few minutes would change the lives of two families, forever.
Kelli only remembers bits and pieces of what happened that fateful afternoon – the moment a speeding snowboarder fatally collided with her and her 5 year old daughter, Elise. The 23 year old snowboarder was a local, who frequented Hogadon to ride.
“I remember going up the chairlift [with Elise], and we were discussing which run we wanted to go on,” Kelli recalled during a recent interview with Colorado Public Radio (CPR) about the incident. “I remember starting out that run with her… she actually was doing so well that I was actually having her follow me” she said, noting that as a former ski instructor she was helping Elise transition from snow plowing to making turns. “I only remember that I stopped to help Elise get her ski back on. I remember up to that point but I never saw the snowboarder coming, I never looked up to see him…I think it all happened so fast.”
The collision took the lives of Elise and the Snowboarder instantly; the snowboarder from blunt force trauma to the chest and Elise from a broken neck, while Kelli was left with a severe brain injury and paralyzed arm.
While this tragedy will never go away, the Johnson family is working hard with the NSAA (National Ski Areas Association) to promote and begin conversations about responsible skiing and boarding, to create a lasting legacy for Elise known as #RideAnotherDay.
What is #RideAnotherDay?
#RideAnotherDay promotes three things every skier and snowboarder can do to keep themselves, and those around them safe on the slopes.
1. Be Ready – Be ready to slow down and avoid objects and other people at any time. Ski and ride in such a way that you are always able to control yourself regardless of conditions and avoid others and objects you may encounter on the run, groomed or otherwise.
2. Stay Alert – Stay alert to what’s going on around you, especially other skiers and riders. Being aware of those around and changing conditions will help you have a fun and safe day on the hill.
3. Plan Ahead – Ease up at blind spots, check uphill when merging onto trails, and give other skiers plenty of room when passing. Look out for spots on the run where traffic merges or you can’t see what’s coming next. If you are unfamiliar with a run, take it easy the first time down and make note of places where you’ll want to slow down, such as cat tracks and rollers. Also, give other skiers and riders lots of room, especially if you are passing them. There’s plenty of space out there, so there’s no need to crowd each other.
By keeping yourself and others safe on the mountain you’re helping to share Elise’s legacy and her family’s dream. Making it possible for everyone to #RideAnotherDay.
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