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Whistler skier awarded Guinness World Record Certificate

Pierre Marc Jette continues to raise Alzheimer's awareness
World Record Pierre Marc Jette holds the Guinness certificate proving he owns the record for most vertical feet skied, originally set back in 2015. Photo by Eric Thompson

Pierre Marc Jette's goal of skiing the most vertical feet in one year has been officially recognized by the Guinness World Records.

And while receiving the official Guinness certificate brings that chapter of his life to a satisfying conclusion, he hopes he can continue to raise awareness and generate donations to combat Alzheimer's disease, the cause that started this whole journey in the first place.

"The money is still being raised as we speak," said Jette. "Because I'm following up like this, people keep asking me, where can we donate? I just say, keep on donating to (the) Alzheimer Society, or any support group for the disease. Wherever you can reach out, just keep on donating... As (the news of) this certificate gets spread around in magazines and newspapers, people will see that and be inspired to give more."

With the slogan "Remember I ski for Alzheimer's," Jette shattered the world record for feet skied in a year from November 2014 to May 2015. Over 122 days, Jette skied a total of 1,836,649 metres (6,025,751 ft 3.72 in).

Skiing was a full-time job for that period, and getting prepared in the months leading up to ski season was also a lot of work, as Jette, who had never owned a computer or a cell phone suddenly needed to use the internet to help generate donations. Ultimately, Jette was able to get a page set up, and encouraged donations to both the Alzheimer Society in BC and in his home province of Quebec.

A few members of Jette's family have been affected by the disease, most notably his closest cousin, Dominique Augustin, lost her mother due to complications from Alzheimer's. That was such a driving force for Jette, he phoned Augustin before he made the run that would break the record.

"I told her I was about to do the run that would break the record, and she told me that our family — which had been divided because of the disease and how difficult it was — they all got back together because of what I was doing. So my goal was so successful just because of that," he said.

It has taken until recently for Guinness World Records to verify the record. Jette logged all this runs by hand, and had them verified by his altimeter, the Trace Snow app and Whistler Blackcomb's RFID pass. He also had GoPro videos of every run and chairlift ride. Following the 2015 season, he had his data reviewed by Roger McCarthy and Terry Spence before submitting it to Guinness.

Gunniess requested Jette get a professional surveyor to measure all distances of each Whistler run, to ensure his accuracy. Instead of going through all that trouble, Whistler Blackcomb sent a letter on his behalf verifying each run's distances.

Though it took longer than expected, Jette is just happy he was able to take the award around his hometown of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec and show his family what they motivated him to do.

"It was great to go back East to announce this. Even though the event finished almost three years ago, I didn't hear the cheers until I was back in Quebec," said Jette.

A former Canadian telemark racing team member, Jette still skis occasionally, but understandably it's lost some its lustre.

"I had such a purpose, it was such a driving tool, and I was on adrenaline for six months, and I've skied so much in my life," he said.

"If skiing is food, I'm totally full right now."