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Johnny sits down with Julian Carr for the latest in the AltaCam Podcast series 2009! Outstanding interview transcript about how Julian got started, some of the great things he's involved in and front-flipping off big cliffs. Thanks Julian, you're a class act.

Johnny B: Hello, powder skiers, welcome to AltaCam.com. My name is Johnny B and today, I have the pleasure to welcome not only a ripping skier and a sick bird, but a true gentleman, Julian Carr. Julian, good to see you, buddy.

Julian: Thanks, man. Nice to be hanging out with you.

Johnny B: How you been?

Julian: I've been great!

Johnny B: Pretty good winter so far.

Julian: It is. Now it's snowing so I'm pumped.

Johnny B: You had a tough winter last year.

Julian: Yeah, it definitely came at me quick. It was good skiing and things were great. And then I hurt my knee and my good friend Billy Poole had his accident, so interesting year.

Johnny B: You had a lot to overcome.

Julian: Yeah.

Johnny B: Talk about the process.

Julian: You know. I acknowledged it, embraced it and decided to celebrate him because there's no way you can reverse what happened. But I try to make him proud and my endeavors off the hill. And whenever I'm skiing I always have moments where I think about him. So it's ongoing.

Johnny B: I feel like I missed out. I wish I had gotten to know him like you. He sounds like a great guy.

Julian: He was, man. He moved to Alta four years ago and I think within his first couple of days here – I'd seen him before in Colorado. And he was just pretty intimidating looking, skiing some really amazing stuff. And I was like, "Wow! That guy is gnarly!"

And I saw him back in Rocky Point his first couple of days here and instantly I was like, "Holy shit! That's Billy Poole!" And he looks up and he's like, "Hey!" I'm like, "Yeah?" And he's like, "Are you Julian?" I don't know if I should say yes or not. I'm like, "Yeah." And he's like, "Cool, man! I just moved here. Let's ski this winter." I was like, "Cool, man!" And we just hung out that day, skied and instantly I was like this guy is going to be very good friend of mine. And we just skied constantly ever since I met him.

Johnny B: It seems like he not only became a friend but a brother as well.

Julian: Yeah, man. He's definitely best friend status, I got involved with my business with him, I mean everything. He was just an incredible dude.

Johnny B: Let's talk about the Billy Poole Foundation.

Julian: Yeah. So his mom decided to set up BillyPoole.org. And she's basically helping any kid that wants to ski that may not have access to the equipment, whether it's a troubled youth or just a kid that wants to go ski. She's pretty much trying to get some integration to work with these kids. To get them equipment, get them the means to get up the mountain and then have people like me and Billy's friends to teach them whenever they want. And so far I think they've gotten like 70 G since they started last year.

Johnny B: That's impressive. That's a great thing. That's pretty much what she did for Billy as well, right?

Julian: Yeah.

Johnny B: I feel like there's a lot of kids that don't have parents, like I didn't have parents that skied so my friends got me into it. And there's a lot of kids down there that they have know idea what's up here.

Julian: It's crazy.

Johnny B: And they would love it.

Julian: Yeah, I think a lot of those kids, too, that maybe don't have an outlet for their energy, they end up getting into trouble. And whereas if you just come up here and you're able to put that energy into skiing, it's pretty powerful. I think it can help a lot of kids.

Johnny B: And didn't I see you skiing with a gang kids recently?

Julian: Yeah. I'm helping out with SheJumps to help teach them, some kids, as well. It's kind of the same story just with those girls.

Johnny B: That's very respectable, Julian. With all the things you do and as busy as you are, you take time out for the kids.

Julian: Hell, yeah!

Johnny B: Yeah, you know when I saw you with that gang of kids I was like, "I'm a 41 year old kid. I want to join the gang, man!"

Julian: Anytime.

Johnny B: I was telling Jesse today, I feel like I got into skiing and I come up here because I'm making up for the fact that I didn't ski as a kid.

Julian: I started skiing in eighth grade and, man, I was just like – now when I see little kids skiing, it makes me stoked because never had that experience of being a little kid and just having this cool, snowy playground to go play in. Obviously in eighth grade I'm still pretty young but you still kind of have a little bit of an adult mentality.

Johnny B: Sure.

Julian: You don't have that super innocent, I'm a kid just cruising around and laughing.

Johnny B: You're ready to bust out.

Julian: We all do it everyday but you know what I mean.

Johnny B: Yeah. So talk about those early days. You went up to Brighton and just started skiing. You're a skateboarder but you didn't want to be a snowboarder.

Julian: Well, grew up skateboarding and in fifth grade, I actually went to snowboard. My mom got me and my buddy lessons, rentals, dropped us off at 9:00, our lesson was not until 11:00. She's like, "Do not go down until you get your lesson." So of course, me and my buddy sat there for about half an hour. I go, "Let's just go get a run." First run, within 100 yards of the top of the chairlift I just going really fast and didn't really quite get how to stop, so I tipped over and crashed. My body just pulled a ragdoll because I was going pretty fast. And twisted my knee, heard a pop, everything. I had to get crutches.

I didn't touch snow again until eight grade. My mom was like, "You really need to try skiing," because she's going all the time. And I really didn't want to. Finally, I was like, "All right. I'll go." And man, so cool! Because I feel so at home on a skateboard but I feel like at home so much on skis And by my third day of skiing, I got pulled over at Brighton for going to fast. I would just stare at people from the chairlifts and see how they were turning, so I never went through the snowplow stage. I was just like, "I got to start paralleling." And I got it, man. I just loved it. Loved it! I knew I was going to do it for the rest of my life by my third day.

Johnny B: And the rest was history. So you found out early on what overcoming injury was all about.

Julian: Yeah, definitely. It was crazy. It's weird, too, because if I wouldn't have gotten hurt that day of snowboarding, I know for a fact that I would have never touched skis.

Johnny B: Julian, you've done so much rad stuff on skis.

Julian: Thanks.

Johnny B: I can't even begin to go into it, but what I want to know is, if you would, for those of us who haven't done a front flip off a big cliff, take us through the world record front flip in Switzerland. What went through your mind? What was your mindset?

Julian: That was intense. The mind frame is your comfort zones get bigger. You front flip off a 30-foot cliff, the next week, with a good landing, you feel comfortable doing off a 40-foot cliff. And I kind of just inched my way up to the point where I was getting into 100-foot zone and then I was getting to 150's and 160's and I was very comfortable with it.

So I got to Switzerland and this beautiful cliff just caught my eye on my first day there. And I went and checked out the landing and check the sheerness of the cliff. And man, it was almost good to go. I really wanted to hit it but the landing wasn't quite good enough. And then we skied for a week, had a great time. And our second last day in town it just absolutely nuked on us. About two and half, three feet of fresh on top of already pretty good.

So the next morning it was our second to the last day there. We had to leave the next day. We wake up it's completely blue bird, no wind, three feet of fresh. And instantly I was like, "I'm going to that cliff."

Johnny B: So that landing was shaping up a little bit for you.

Julian: It was perfect. I knew it.

Julian Carr World Record Front Flip
Photo by Oskar Enander

Johnny B: Before we go any further now, you go and probe these landing zones to make sure there's nothing there, just make it really safe.

Julian: Yeah. From the week leading up to when I jumped it, I probably spent a good four to five hours just probing in the whole area where I knew I could of possibly land. And that's where I am all cliffs. Even like Wolverine back here, there's a pretty good size of my jumps sometimes. And before I did, I went up there in the summer and studied the landing zone to make sure there weren't any hidden boulders and stuff. Because my number one thing with my life and what I cherish is my health.

Johnny B: And safety.

Julian: And so, when I do these cliffs, I don't want to get hurt. I wouldn't do them if I was going to get hurt. I wouldn't do them if they hurt. I do it because snow is amazing and I like to look at the possibilities.

Johnny B: Yeah. There you have it, huckers. Do your homework. So go on, Julian.

Julian: Yeah, so I go to this cliff, man, and the end run is actually pretty tricky because most big cliffs I like to get to the edge of the cliff, manicure a perfect end run and I'd make a pull drag so I know exactly where to jump. But on this particular cliff, I had actually skied a pretty hairy line to get to it. It was kind of an avalanche prone slope with another 20-footer above it that I had to ski on and get around to my take off zone.

So man, I had some heavy concentration going. I made it down to my cliff safely and I made a spot out on the horizon where I knew was the direction I needed to jump to get to the good landing. And I spotted on the horizon the direction I needed to go off my take off. So As soon as I got down to my take off I'd made it down the avalanche prone slope. It was a sigh of relief. Just thank God to get me off of this thing.

So it was fun to actually ski a line off a cliff. I get in the air and I thought the cliff was maybe in the 170 range. At that time, the biggest cliff I'd ever jumped was 175. And as soon as I got in the air I just realized I was like really a lot higher than I'd ever been before, just the perspective. I mean the ground was so far away and I've never seen the ground that far away before. Holy shit! And time just stood still. I literally had a 15-second conversation with my self in a split second.

And I kind of swan dove for a moment but I tucked my flip over a little bit sooner than I would have liked just because I wasn't expecting it to be such a big air. And as I flipped it over, I was like, "Oh shit! I just flipped my flip over too quick. I might over rotate." And I'm usually always relaxed when I'm doing this stuff. And all of a sudden I started breathing all weird and I was like, "Oh, my God!" I was weirded, I was freaking out. And I'm like, "Dude, you better relax right now or else you're going to get hurt." So I was like, "Hey, you got to relax."

So I started relaxing and instead of over rotating I ended up just going completely stiff as a board but relaxed. And I turned inward rather than over rotating. And I hit the ground all good, didn't even hurt. And there's so much slough everywhere because as I skied down I basically made an avalanche go off. That's what it looked like in the picture at least.

Johnny B: Yeah. Big water blowing up.

Julian: Yeah. And I'm just in a cloud of smoke laughing. And the people on the radio I guess were like, "Is he OK? Is he OK?" And I didn't hear anything. I was just in my own world. And my buddy that was standing by in case I got buried in my bomb hole, he skis down and I'm still laughing. He just gets on the radio and he was like, "Dude, he's up here laughing!"

Johnny B: Nice.

Julian: So it was a trip! And then we tried measuring it with like the film camera they had because it can gauge how far away things are but it ran out of batteries. But I was with Tom Wayes and he's one of the gnarliest guys I've ever met and he climbs trees for a living. And I knew for a fact that at a minimum it was 200 feet tall. I was like, "At a minimum." And it's probably bigger than that and I'm like, "Do I have your stamp of approval, Tom?" He's looking at it and he's all, "Oh yeah. That's at least 200 feet." And I was like, "Cool!"

So I ended up calling it 210 and I'm comfortable with it. It could have been a little bit bigger, I'm not really interested. For me to have that much airtime and do it safely, that's my interest. So if people want to know how big it was that's the number I put on it. It's not accurate, it could've have been a little bit bigger, it could be right on but I know at a minimum it was 210 feet.

Johnny B: At least 210 feet.

Julian: Yeah.

Johnny B: Fair enough. It sounds like you had a lot of adrenaline going just getting around that first avalanche prone section.

Julian: Oh man, I was breathing deep. My concentration was on. It was definitely one of the most poignant experiences of my life. Getting to it, jumping it, realizing I was over rotating, having to calm myself down, the conversation I had in my head, being in another country. It was a really, really fun experience.

Johnny B: I've got to tell you something, that story about the cliff jump made my underarms sweat. There you have it, folks. You heard it right here in AltaCam.com. My name is Johnny B with the great Julian Carr, thanks for listening. Thank you very much, Julian.

Julian: Thanks, man.

Johnny B: Good to see you.

Julian: You too.

Johnny B: All right! Let's go skiing!

Julian: Let's do.

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