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Skydiving CEO Andy Wirth Cheats Death and Doesn’t Slow Down.

Andy Wirth was probably never going to be a household name in his life but tragedy brought him to the center of public attention. Wirth rose to prominence when he became CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings back in 2010. After his promotion he became friends with JT Holmes, a famous athlete known for going after the big thrills. JT liked to BASE jump, ski, and go wingsuiting but he really wanted to get up in the air for skydiving. So Wirth decided to tag along. The pair were immediately hooked and for years would go on almost weekly excursions, ramping up the risk factor every time. It all stopped in 2013.

The story goes that pair went to go jumping out in California like they always did but things immediately got rocky. The pilot didn’t fly the correct path, the jumpers missed their drop zone, and Wirth ended up pulling his chute way too late. A bad tailwhind forced Wirth to forget trying to get back to his drop zone and he ended up colliding with a power line. His arm was immediately ripped off and he began to bleed out.

Amazingly Wirth fought shock and the very real danger of death by focusing on his breathing and engaging in several tactics to slow down his bleeding. He hummed the Pearl Jam song ‘Just Breathe’ in order to stay focused. Wirth would end up surviving and a few years later the Squaw Valley CEO is still going strong.

Wirth has kept his company going and hasn’t let his injuries or traumatic experiences slow him down. Recently his company decided to put in a gondola that connected the Squaw Valley with the Alpine Meadows. Wirth and Alpine Meadow’s owner Troy Caldwell planned the gondola as a way to bring the two resorts together to push them forward into a mutually beneficial future.

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