Born: August 22, 1977 (Sainte-Foy, Quebec)
Died: September 29, 2014 (atop Cerro de San Lorenzo on the Chile-Argentina border)
JP Auclair was an icon of freestyle skiing, a popular pioneer whose spectacular performances and charismatic personality contributed to sport gaining a berth in the Winter Olympics.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pound athlete appeared in many ski movies, a serene figure expertly tackling extreme terrain.
Auclair’s playful, innovative technique was displayed in the 2011 film “All.I.Can” in which he rail-slides and skims along patchy sidewalks and icy streets of Trail, B.C. His street stunts were captivating even in a movie featuring spectacular downhill runs.
Earlier, he was a leader of the “New Canadian Air Force” of freestyle skiers. He competed in moguls at the X-Games and, in 2002, co-founded the Armada Skis company with Tanner Hall.
Auclair and Andreas Fransson of Sweden were filming a project on Cerro de San Lorenzo in Patagonia when they were swept away by an avalanche. They were swept downhill from the Chilean side of the mountain before the debris came to a rest on the Argentinian side of the mountain.
The sudden death of the 37-year-old skier gutted the freestyle community back in Canada, where he was a revered figure.