With a heavy heart we say farewell to a brother, a true pillar of the AK ski community, and to many, a best friend and epic ski and speed fly partner.
My relationship with Josh, and the beginning of his relationship with 4FRNT, began at an on-snow demo in Jackson Hole, where he presented himself as a teenage big mountain skier on a vacation with his uncle. He heard CR (Johnson) had a new ski out, the CRJ, that he was dying to try. When asked for collateral to give a pair of 180’s a test drive, he surfaced his most prized possession, from the sleeve pocket of his shell, his Alyeska season pass. Hours later, he returned, grinning from ear to ear, certain he’d follow up and get a pair.
That spring he followed through, with an epic sponsor me seg, floating airs on natural backcountry booters and slaying spines. Insistent to buy his first pair it wasn’t long until we started flowing him product and so began the start to a beautiful, long lasting partnership, and friendship.
Josh was a giver. Not only in the sense of sending it, but in his generosity. He felt so grateful for the years of support, he demanded to host a visit and in Randich fashion, to epic proportion and produce a mid season ski touring seg around Turnagain Pass. It was the first week of February, following an epic start and settling high pressure system, we arrived to produce “The unsaid shred” feature. 4 out of 5 days, Josh gave the crew a 5 star Girdwood experience, tagging the pass classics and breaking trail, zone after zone.
When Josh’s hip started to give away, he refused to quit and instead, came and stayed with us in Salt Lake to get trained in paragliding, with the ambition of speed-flying to alleviate his soreness. He took to the air, and quickly found an outlet to express his trademark power yet graceful skiing style through flying. The hundreds of thousands of vert Josh climbed to perfect his new craft of speed flying was unreal to so many. He is ambition, strength and determination to reinvent himself was awe-inspiring to us all, and his relationship with 4FRNT continued to grow.
We will always remember Josh for his extreme enthusiasm. His authentic character and humbleness. His firm as hell handshake and crackling laughter. The way he thrived on introducing new experiences to people he knew well, and his ability to thrive in uncomfortable settings was one of his gifts. Our deepest condolences go out to his partner Sarah, his family and the entire Girdwood community.
- Matt Sterbenz & the 4FRNT Family