When it comes to skiers at Arapahoe Basin, you’ll find most using their fancy ski pole. Then, you’ll see Jay DeBaggis doing things a little differently.
“My balance is pretty good,” he said. “I have been skiing without poles for about 10 years.”
Early Monday mornings – just as the ski area opens – you can find Jay on the hill training for something a little bizarre.
“Been coming here every Monday, put on the fast skies, tuck my arms in,” he said.
He takes the lift up and races down, skiing as if he’s wearing a straitjacket. In fact, he’s trying to set the speed world record for skiing in a straitjacket – hitting speeds that might blow your mind.
“My goal is 50 to 60 miles an hour, hopefully I will ski my age, which is closer to 60,” DeBaggis said.
While it seems like an odd thing to do, DeBaggis said it’s all to raise money and awareness for the Summit County Mountain Mentors program.
“It’s a local big brothers, big sisters program,” he said. “There’s 50 kids on the waiting list, so we want to get some adults involved, spend some time with kids in Summit County.”
He’s also trying to catch the eye of Ellen DeGeneres so he can go on her show and talk about the mentor program.
DeBaggis is going for the record on April 3 at Arapahoe Basin.
If you would like to learn more about the Summit County Mountain Mentors program, you can check out their website at www.Summitcountyco.gov/mentor.