Greenwater local, Josh Wirta, grew up skiing at Crystal. Josh is a Freeride Skier and TGR Co-Lab Finalist. Josh was diagnosed with bone cancer in April 2014.
Two weeks ago I came across Josh out skiing with his dad, Mark. I rode the chair with him and heard him talk about the day and how much enjoyment he was having being back on the slopes for the second time this season. We unloaded the chair, and Josh never even paused as he skated over the edge. A few seconds later he was out of sight at the bottom of the bowl. He didn’t look to have missed a beat.
In my early years at Crystal on patrol, I would ride the Rainier Lift and watch Josh as a little boy ski the front side with his father Mark, over and over and over. The first chair in the morning to the last chair in the afternoon, Josh and Mark were there. It didn’t matter what the the conditions were. It could have been rain, sun, or if we were lucky, an epic powder day. As we all know time flies. Before you know it, 20 years have slid by.
Many skiers and snowboarders consider this to have been a poor ski season. And if you look at the numbers, it was. But then, when you see a guy like Josh having such a good time, it’s important to remember that any day in the mountains is better than none. In the eyes of a guy battling cancer who’s just living each day as it comes, those moments in the mountains (even on a so-called poor season) are all the more sweet. Sometimes, it takes someone like Josh who is out grabbing life and enjoying what he loves to realize life is good and to enjoy every moment.