JT Holmes

JT Holmes

Ski BASE Jumper/Crazy Guy

JT Holmes grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, but regularly made the drive out to Squaw Valley to ski. Holmes realized that the mountains were his passion and turned professional at the age of 17. After a few years of producing content for production companies and ski magazines, Holmes discovered BASE jumping, or the act of jumping off of objects or cliffs with a parachute, with the help of Squaw Valley legend, Shane McConkey. The two would go on to perform all kinds of BASE jumping feats together. Holmes’ real calling came in January 2003, when he completed his first ski BASE jump with McConkey at his side. The act involved skiing off cliffs with parachutes attached to their backs, sometimes with wingsuits on as well. It was a brand new idea to the ski world, and would transform Holmes’ career. McConkey’s tragic death in 2009 took Holmes out of the ski BASE jumping world for a while, but he eventually found his way back, and has since been at the cutting edge of new feats for skiers. He was featured on 60 Minutes in 2015 for skiing off the Eiger, which he accomplished using a parachute to guide his way down.

In recent years, Holmes has switched from ski BASE jumping to a more efficient way of combining skiing and flying: Speed riding. Speed riding is skiing with an open parachute. It allows the rider to choose between skiing and flying at any given time during a run. By speed riding, Holmes can glide over otherwise challenging obstacles like cliffs, forests or just hillsides with no snow or suboptimal snow.  The parachute is open from the beginning of the run, making it safer than ski BASE jumping and it does not require a sheer cliff so it is doable on infinitely more mountains than ski base jumping. Plus, you don't have to stop to repack. You just shove it in a bag and go back up for another run. 

Holmes currently lives in the Squaw Valley area.

Follow JT:

@JTHolmesJr

Explore JT's adventures at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows on Instagram and Twitter