VIDEO: Hundreds of snowboarders take to Vail Mountain for A Ride For Jake Burton
'We have a responsibility to keep snowboarding alive and well, and he left it in our hands'
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Early Friday morning, hundreds of snowboarders took A Ride For Jake down Riva Glade on Vail Mountain at the 38th annual Burton US Open.
Jake Burton Carpenter helped mold the sport of snowboarding. In 2013, he helped bring the US Open to Vail, where a special bond has been formed between the local community and the worldwide snowboarding brand.
“This means the world to us,” John Lacy, Burton CEO, told the crowd gathered on a crisp, bluebird morning. “I look around and see a lot of familiar faces. Jake had an impact on so many people around the world, and the US Open is an example of when we pull all the riders together from around the world.”
Riders gathered at the base of Gondola One well before 8 a.m. to join A Ride For Jake.
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“This meant the world to him, to come to Vail and see everybody and celebrate a sport that he just continued to pioneer and push through,” Lacy said.
As part of the ride, Vail Mountain created a trail sign named “Jake’s stash.”
“This is a time to celebrate. We’re here to look forward. We’re here to celebrate what he brings and to see this community make it happen,” Lacy said. “We have a responsibility to keep snowboarding alive and well, and he left it in our hands.”
Across Vail Mountain this week, Jake’s spirit is alive and well.
“That man definitely never wasted a single second,” Jack Mitrani told the group of snowboarders on Friday morning. “If there’s one thing that he taught me it’s just to be present in every situation and live life to the absolute fullest. He gave us all the gift of snowboarding and this beautiful family. Just look around at this family that Jake and Donna have cultivated. We’re so lucky to have each other. To continue his legacy, let’s take this run and be present. Just feel the air, listen to the sounds and the feeling of your board under you — it better be a Burton, obviously.”
On Friday, March 13, A Day For Jake will take place at 13 resorts across the world, offering free lift tickets for snowboarders looking to ride in remembrance. Visit adayforjake.com for more information.
Vail Daily photographer Chris Dillmann contributed to this story. Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.