Wild forms of skiing
Skiers are certainly a crazy kind of people. They’re always pushing the limits of the sport, despite the numerous ski-related injuries and deaths that occur every year.
Perhaps the most daring skiers are “extreme skiers” who take helicopters to the top of ungroomed mountains and forge their own paths down the slopes.
Often they’ll ski on extremely steep slopes without fear, despite the many possible injuries they can incur from “free skiing.” To name a few: knee sprains, wrist fractures and shoulder dislocation, as well as the more serious life-threatening injuries.
Equally as terrifying is the more mainstream sport of ski jumping. An Olympic sport since 1924, the sport traces its historical origin to a Norwegian skier who jumped 9.5 meters in 1808. Decades later, an Austrian skier developed the typical modern form: knees bent, head bowed, body lurched forward. Using that form, the skier managed to jump over 100 meters, the first in the world to do so. Today, Norwegian skier Johan Remen Evensen holds the world record for the longest ski jump. He jumped 246.5 meters in February 2011.
But if you’re not a risk-taker or thrill-seeker, there’s always the bizarre but interesting sport of canoe skiing, which Ski the East recently featured.
A couple of skiers decided to take canoes out along a Vermont river and took an overnight trip. They went skiing in unmarked wilderness – with canoes in tow. They’d canoe down the river, their ski equipment piled in the front of the canoe, find a designated place to ski, and climb up the mountain just to ski right back down.
Canoe skiing is probably the most interesting form of skiing I’ve heard of, but it certainly captures that adventurous skier spirit that lead to the creation of extreme skiing and ski jumping.