Speedriding; Or, How to Parachute Down the Side of a Glacier and Not Die

A gust and a slope working together in terrifying harmony.
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A gust and a slope working together in terrifying harmony.

Speedriding is the latest extreme sport, combining extreme alpine skiing with a small parachute, or canopy. Chute attached, riders vault off summits, skiing where good terrain exists, and gliding over rock. Such a set-up allows the world’s best skiers access to terrain that would otherwise be too dangerous (if a pristine slope is flanked by rocky outcroppings, a Speedrider can swoop in, carve a few turns, and swoop out).

Sponsor to everything death-defying, Red Bull, just released an insane video shot by helicopter in Alaska’s glacier range. With a rocks and snow at a fifty-fifty mix, the skiers undertake a series of incredibly risky, slow-motion free falls. The long-term life expectancy of a Speedrider remains unclear, but the sport does look like fun – for someone else.

Photos by Scott Serfas / Red Bull Content Pool