By: Ama Hartman
Ama Hartman is a student at Cascade High School and lives in Leavenworth, Washington. Pictured with LWSC Board of Directors from Left to Right: Richard Buckingham, Brett Johnson, Chris Clark, Shaun Seaman, Ama Hartman, Damian Browne, Pete Hutzel.
I have been skiing at Stevens pass since I was born. Naturally, it has become my home, as the locals have become my family. It hit me hard this February when an avalanche took three of them. Chris Rudolph, Johnny Brenan, and Jim Jack. It’s still hard to come to grips with the fact that these amazing men are gone. I grew up knowing them, and have always looked up to them. I can’t truly do justice to what these men have done for all of us. They spread their love far and wide. They went out of their way to help others, and they did so with a smile of their face. They lived the way we all want to, shredding pow, and loving life. There’s nothing we can do to replace the hole they left in our community. It will never be the same without them, but we’ll always remember them. We’ll remember their smiles, and we’ll remember all the things they did for this community.
Earlier this fall, I had the all too familiar feeling of un-inspiration in my art class. I am enrolled in Advanced Production Art, which is a class where I get to pick my own projects. After hearing about the two full cupboards of un-used carving stone in the back of the classroom, I decided to try my hand at carving. I took a piece of white stone about the size of my pinky finger and carved a mountain ridge in it. It didn’t take long for me to finish and I soon found myself in the same state of un-inspiration as earlier, wondering what I should do next. This is when I had the idea of doing a carving for friends taken by avalanches. I did not personally know Dan Z. but still wanted to include him. He was a part of our community, and I knew it would be appreciated if he was included. I took the profile picture from the Ski Hill Memorial Project on Facebook, printed it out, and found a beautiful piece of Pink Alabaster to use. I spent days just transferring the design onto the stone. I wanted to get everything perfect. At first I even wanted the boot buckles to be identical but the more I carved, the less I paid attention to the details, and the more it became mine.
It took me seven weeks to finish, and I spent around 50 hours carving. The only tools I used were a small chisel, hammer, a nail shaped tool with a ballpoint pen sized tip, and sand paper. There were days where I would just sit and stare at this rock that seemed to be making no progress, depressed, upset and confused, days where I left the classroom crying. Most of the time I just had to put my headphones in and forget what I was working on. I finished on the 16th of November, and used linseed oil to bring out the colors of the stone.
Although I have finished this carving, I have not yet finished paying tribute to my lost friends. They supported me and believed that I could go as far as I wanted to with my skiing career. Knowing this gives me the confidence to spend the next few years doing competitions, and working to get sponsors. Wherever they are, I will make them proud.