We Lost a Ski Friend RIP Kapper

rickg

Getting on the lift
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I have had lots of ski friends over the years, however very few influenced my skiing in any meaningful way. One such skier who did influence me, Jim Kapp has sadly passed away from complications due to ALS. I first met Jim when I was already a member of the Seven Springs Mountain Resort Safety Rangers near Pittsburgh. He soon joined us and I remember wishing that I could ski like him! He had already skied out west many times and taught me that even at a resort in the Mid Atlantic, that there was more to skiing than groomed trails. I was already a good skier and enjoyed bumps. But Jim took me in between the slopes into the trees. Showed me where to find freshies days after a storm, this at a time when I thought I knew that resort like the back of my hand.

A few years later, he invited me to go on my first all guy big mountain ski trip to Whistler Blackcomb back in the early 90's. Out of the 8 guys, I was number 3 in the pecking order. I skied with top two leaving our other buddies in the dust for most of the week. He taught me how to ski powder on my 200cm narrow skis and how to do jump turns on the steeps, and always with a smile on his face!

He eventually switched to teli skis, mastering it in a few short seasons. Not surprisingly he became one of the first instructors to teach teli and was also a member of ski patrol. In his professional life, he was an ace optician who made several pairs of glasses for me.

Sadly I lost touch with him after moving to Cleveland 15 years ago. Hadn't really thought about him till I heard the news this morning. Made me dig out a few pics from that epic trip.

Kapper as we called him is on the far right with big smile! I am in the middle with the big smirk!

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In the middle giving us a lesson in powder skiing! I am on left with hat flapping in the wind!

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The other guys, Jim on the left! I took the pic.
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As I had lost contact with him, I wasn't aware of how involved he became in teaching and the local ski clubs until I read his obituary https://www.laniganfuneralhome.com/...uQ0E-g_pfLEDYx63BOXBOJKM-MXrLTuDXqdnwIa5tM4aM . Though I knew he cycled and dived, I did not realize how involved he was. I don't know where he found the time to do all of this and raise a wonderful family! If you skied regularly at Seven Springs over the past 30-40 years, chances are you met him or at least saw him teaching or patrolling.

RIP Kapper. You made a difference in my ski life. Peace to your lovely wife and children as well as to all who knew you!

Rick G
 

Jim Kenney

Travel Correspondent
Team Gathermeister
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Nice tribute to your buddy/mentor Rick, with some cool old photos. The list of accomplishments in his obit is amazing. He was an impact player in the game of life.
 
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rickg

rickg

Getting on the lift
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Thanks Jim! Nice to hear from you. I hope all is well in your Covid World!

Rick G
 

jimmy

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Thanks for sharing that here Rick. You knew Jim better than i but he was all that and a nice guy.

Tele Ho Kapper
 
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rickg

rickg

Getting on the lift
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Thanks. I kind of feel bad for having lost touch with him after moving away. A great human spirit who left us too soon. He was only 59.

Rick G
 

Carl

P = I²×R = V×I = V²/R
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You are lucky to have had someone who impacted your life in such a positive way. Thanks for sharing.
 

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