Chris Pawlitsky goes from broken neck to one million vertical feet

Life-long Revelstoke skier Chris Pawlitsky reached his goal of skiing one million vertical feet at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

  • Mar. 29, 2017 6:00 a.m.
Chris Pawlitsky.

Chris Pawlitsky.

Life-long Revelstoke skier Chris Pawlitsky reached his goal of skiing one million vertical feet at Revelstoke Mountain Resort this year — a year after experiencing a serious neck injury.

Pawlitsky grew up in Revelstoke and learned to ski at the old Powder Spring resort on Mount Mackenzie. He worked as a guide for the cat ski operation that ran at the top of the mountain before the RMR came into being. He went on to work for CP Rail, cut into his skiing time.

Last winter, he broke three vertebrae in his neck when he crashed while skiing Separate Reality.

“I was doing Super G turns, got going way too fast, and my tips dove into the snow. I pretty much went from going 45 miles per house to a dead stop in a second and scorpioned,” said Pawlitsky. “I was completely off for three months and gradually worked back up to being able to do any physical activity.”

Photo: Chris Pawlitsky skis at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. ~ By David Windsor

This winter, he made it his goal to ski one million vertical feet at RMR. He completed the goal by skiing about 20,000 vertical feet per day over 53 days — all while working as an engineer at CP Rail.

He said he was inspired by Greg Hill, who once ski toured two million vertical feet in a year. “Every year, at the end of the season, I end up with about 800,000 vertical feet, so this winter I set a goal to ski a little more than usual to get the million,” Pawlitsky said. “Mission accomplished!”

Pawlitsky, who turns 50 in May, has been a season pass holder at RMR since it opened in 2007 and is an official resort ambassador.