Just Don't Catch a Ski on a Tree
November 8, 2010 4:09 PM   Subscribe

Speedflying in Wengen 2010. After watching it, it seems these guys really like crack. If you want to give it a go, learn how. posted by bwg (27 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I really want to learn how to like crack, but that link didn't tell me anything about how to go about doing that.
posted by hippybear at 4:13 PM on November 8, 2010

Beautiful photography, but I notice the first thing that hits your eye on that webpage is

Remembering Mathias - 2010

March 7th, 2010 marked the 2nd anniversary of Mathias' passing.

2009 was another hard year for Speed-Flying with at least 9 reported deaths in the sport and numerious non fatal accidents. . .

Just below that is a link to a speedflying article (I didn't know they had "the articles" too) in Penthouse magazine. I think the contrast says a good deal about the risk and motivation of extreme athletic endeavor these days, and possibly all the way back to the Paleolithic.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:19 PM on November 8, 2010

Sure it did: learn how to speedfly, then aim for narrow mountain cracks.
posted by bwg at 4:20 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

And Charlie Brown thought he had problems with trees.
posted by GuyZero at 4:23 PM on November 8, 2010

After spending a good chunk of my youth skiing the alps, I kinda glad this didn't exist when I was younger. At least I'm 50 now and get to watch the kids have the fun. Something tells me if I had gotten into this I'd never have seen 50.

Looks like a full-tilt blast, though.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:25 PM on November 8, 2010

What the... hell? I didn't see a single energy drink logo.
posted by ardgedee at 4:27 PM on November 8, 2010

This would be me. Except I never would do it in the first place, knowing that I'm graceless.

I tried to learn to water-ski on a number of occasions, once spent the entire afternoon drinking half of Lake Conroe, north of Houston.

I can't dance, either.

As scary as the links are, the idiots on that tower linked last week scared me far, far worse, my gut in knots the whole time. Remarkable courage, complete foolishness.
posted by dancestoblue at 4:33 PM on November 8, 2010

another hard year for Speed-Flying with at least 9 reported deaths

Odd, you would think it would be safer than either sport individually - if you ski off a cliff you have the parasail to rescue you, and if you parasail at high speed into the ground you have the skis to glide against it.

I suppose the exhilarating freedom of it spurs people on to greater recklessness like hugging dihedrals and splitting chinmeys. Hit a rock with the back of a ski, the ski tip is knocked down and catches another rock, then down you go.
posted by CynicalKnight at 4:48 PM on November 8, 2010

Awesome footage but that's among the worst songs I've heard in my life.
posted by dobbs at 4:53 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

I was going to say that this made that James bond skiing + parachute opening scene seem tame by comparison, but having just rewatched it, no, it's still pretty cool.
posted by smcameron at 5:04 PM on November 8, 2010

Awesome footage but that's among the worst songs I've heard in my life.

needs some Tom Petty...that'll make it all American like.
posted by Benway at 5:05 PM on November 8, 2010

dancestoblue, you have the same link twice, i don't know what the second one is supposed to be and i'm kinda dying over here...
posted by rainperimeter at 5:14 PM on November 8, 2010

dancestoblue, thank you for introducing a video into my life that caused me to pronounce aloud the words "HOLY SHIT NO HOLY SHIT NO."
posted by Countess Elena at 5:21 PM on November 8, 2010

Put some whistletips on those skis, and I'm in.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:25 PM on November 8, 2010

Mad skills at 0:49.

"Surely he's not gonna attempt to thread it?!... Yup, he threaded it."

Also finding and negotiating the giant CRACK at 1:01. Just amazing.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:38 PM on November 8, 2010

Full disclosure. I am a windsurfer and a skier. I ride black-diamond off-road trails on my mountain bike on the North Shore, where it all started, and was fully-involved with the development of the stunts and elevated bridges that so astonished the sport when we introduced them to a disbelieving world. I've even tried kite-boarding. THIS IS NUTS. Do not want. Wow.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 5:50 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

See also a few weeks ago on mefi
posted by lalochezia at 6:19 PM on November 8, 2010

Fixed the music for you.

Benny Hill just didn't work.
posted by maryr at 6:40 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

So well filmed, I feel no need to try this for myself. I was slightly dissappointed they didn't fly into those clouds
posted by Redhush at 7:21 PM on November 8, 2010

I am SUCH a pussy.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:24 PM on November 8, 2010

Hey, that's pretty cool, maryr!
Here it is with another soundtrack! I think it works pretty well, considering the song was recorded in a radiator.
posted by battleshipkropotkin at 7:29 PM on November 8, 2010

Finally, a justification for all of my hours playing Pilot Wings 64. My turn!
posted by cmoj at 9:19 PM on November 8, 2010

I flinched so hard I scared the cats.

I do not, cannot understand the motivation behind any kind of extreme sport thing. Just no, no, no, no, no. It does not give me an adrenaline rush to contemplate it. It gives me absolute seething eel-belly terror. Any time I have gotten anywhere near a skateboard or a set of skis, I have never found the experience to be anywhere near worth the appalling cognitive dissonance of my lizard brain shrieking to "GET OUT! YOU'RE GOING TO DIE!" and then purposefully ignoring that poor little critter.

Mind you, I can't even enjoy rollercoasters. My dad used to force me onto them. (In one memorable case, he and my stepmother literally dragged me on, one on each arm, me flat out refusing to move an inch.) Later, when I was old enough to internalize the meme, I tried to force myself. I have never, not once, enjoyed myself on such a ride. All I can do is think about how if my job were to inspect the coasters for safety, I'd surely get comfortable in it, and then bored, and then how well would I be inspecting them, really? And there's a lot of energy in all that mass moving so fast, and how much would it take, really, to break that little connection to the track? What are the stress factors? What are the test limits?

I do not know what it is that other people have that I don't. I'm not sure which of us is better off, either.
posted by Scattercat at 9:27 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Skiing is my sport of choice, and I've ridden some pretty extreme backcountry in my day, but this is just mind-boggling. I mean, just to scout a safe line when you're staying relatively on-the ground, and traveling maybe 1/3rd to 1/10th even of the distance these guys are covering, can sometimes be an exercise measured in days rather than hours.

I have absolutely no concept of how you would safely scout lines like these ones without the assistance of (at least) one helicopter, and hours of video recon. Which probably explains the "another hard year for Speed-Flying with at least 9 reported deaths" part.

I *do* understand the motivation behind extreme sports because I've participated in them (at least in skiing, skydiving, and to some extent surfing). There is a certain adrenaline rush that comes with these things for some of us, to look below the sticks strapped to your feet and see the world disappearing below in a haze of gravity and snow and earth, and then to navigate what could take your life, with a relative degree of control.

I'm with PareidoliaticBoy - this is way beyond what is traditionally known as extreme sports. This is another level of flirting with death altogether - up there with wingsuit stupidity in my book, at least.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:01 AM on November 9, 2010

I'm impressed by all the new ways we've found to kill ourselves. Too bad we don't have a frontier for guys like this to explore.
posted by zzazazz at 3:15 AM on November 9, 2010

It's videos like that that make me realize that I'm getting old. It's like the Neil Stephenson quote about realizing that no matter what, you can no longer quit your job, train all the time, and become the baddest motherfucker alive.
posted by mercredi at 7:07 AM on November 9, 2010

I will wait until it comes out on the Xbox 360
posted by junkfunnel at 8:41 AM on November 9, 2010

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