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Jordan Conrad Is One Extreme Skier

Published: April 14, 2018 at 12:00 am

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Ice, rocks, cliffs - conditions many skiers avoid - are welcomed by extreme skier Jordan Conrad.
Ice, rocks, cliffs - conditions many skiers avoid - are welcomed by extreme skier Jordan Conrad.
Extreme skier Jordan Conrad won the Flyin Ryan Spirit Award at Jay Peak in Vermont.
Extreme skier Jordan Conrad won the Flyin Ryan Spirit Award at Jay Peak in Vermont.

Jordan Conrad, a freshman at Newtown High School, is not your average skier. Conrad takes on ultra-challenging terrain, catches air, and goes right on through/over, rather than around, what many would consider to be dangerous terrain on the mountain.


Conrad competes on the Mad River Glen Free Ski team in Waitsfield, Vt., as well as on the Ski The East Freeride Tour, traveling around New England in extreme skiing competitions. In mid-March, he went to Jay Peak in Vermont and won the Flyin Ryan Spirit Award. Ryan Hawks was a free skier who lost his life in a ski accident in Kirkwood, Calif. His parents started the Flyin Ryan foundation in his memory to promote sportsmanship and integrity in the free ski community. The award recognizes a skier who best exemplifies Hawks's core principles as well as the positive qualities of free skiers.


"From the moment Jordan joined the team we knew he exemplified something special. Aside from being extremely athletically gifted, Jordan has a young heart with an old soul, he comprehends empathy and has more concern for those around him than he does for himself. These are some of the outstanding human qualities that I remember Ryan Hawks by," said Conrad's coach, Ry Young, who is Freeskiing Programs director at Mad River Glen.


Conrad makes his way down trails most recreational skiers would not describe as skiable. They are chosen for being steep, even having cliffs, frozen waterfalls, trees, rocks, and ice - and some man-made features. Conrad and his competitors take the most difficult way down, within their comfort zone, getting big air where they can, skiing in control, but basically showing off their skills.


These extreme skiers are judged in five categories: Line Choice, and high scores are given for choosing difficult routes; Control; Fluidity; Technique; and Style and Energy.


Conrad, 15, competed this year as a Junior for the last time, and he has qualified for the Adults division for the last three years. He's finished on the podium, earning top-three placement many times in Junior competitions, and has earned top-ten finishes in the adult competitions.


A competitive skies since he was 8 years old, Conrad has been on the mountains since he was 2. This standout on the slopes rides with his family to Vermont every weekend from December through April, and usually take one or two trips out west or to Europe each year. The competition season continues for Conrad, who was invited to participate in the NorAm Free Sking Championships at Snowbird, Utah April 11-15.


Conrad has skied all over New England, Austria, Canada, and out West. In the summer, while there may be no opportunity to ski, Conrad is still hard at work keeping sharp; he trains on trampolines at the Green Mountain Training Center in Williston, Vt.

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This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
50% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
50% (1 vote)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 2