By Jim Stanford on March 11, 2013
On a weekend that saw a Washington racer capture the Town Downhill crown, another skier quietly extended a feat stretching more than 12 years.
Ed Bushnell, the former journalist and videographer turned prosecuting attorney, returned to the Tetons and skied the backcountry Saturday, his 149th consecutive month of skiing.
Last we checked in with Ed, his streak had eclipsed 10 years. He has been skiing at least once every month since Bill Clinton was president.
To put it in perspective, when Ed began skiing year round in the fall of 2000, there was no Facebook, many of us still had dial-up Internet and it would be three years before I owned my first cell phone.
Now a deputy prosecutor in Clackamas County, Ore., Ed cobbled together gear and charged up Mount Glory with friends. He skied powder in the north-facing woods and found conditions so good that he went for a second lap.
(This video is from 2007, when the streak was only 6.5 years long.)
For 146 of the 149 months, Ed has earned his turns by hiking, sometimes in spectacular locales like Mount St. Helens. Within the past year, due to health issues and a desire to ski with family and friends, he has relaxed his threshold and begun riding lifts more often.
Still, he skis at least 1,500 vertical feet whenever possible. That task was perhaps most difficult in October, when he had a stress fracture in his leg (suffered while running the Portland Marathon, at mile 24.8 to be precise). He put down the crutches and rode a beginner chair at Mount Hood 26 times, despite excruciating pain whenever he hit a slight bump.
Bushnell was in town with his wife, Janice, and their young daughters for Jarad Spackman’s memorial. Throughout his streak, Ed did many epic ski mountaineering treks with Spackman, making the return visit bittersweet.
If there is a silver lining in the wake of tragedy, it’s that death often helps pull the living closer together. In that sense, having Ed, Janice and family back in town gave everyone a much-needed lift.
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