Skiing is very much an adrenaline sport. Athletes travel faster than cars on a highway and learn to negotiate steep terrain that would make mountain goats quiver in fear. We’ve all had our share of close calls, double ejections, cartwheels, tomahawks, but none can really compare to the momentum and mechanism of crashes achieved by professionals pushing the limits.
While we’ll happily avoid putting ourselves in such precarious situations, we’ll just as happily watch the footage of crashes on our social media channels over, over and over. It’s a part of human psychology to want to witness such terror-inducing moments of sport, fuelling such hashtags as #wipeoutwednesday. Sometimes the athletes are lucky enough to walk away unharmed, sometimes they escape with just a couple broken bones. In any case, the following best ski crashes of all time could have ended a lot worse.
TJ Lanning at 2006 Birds of Prey
Downhill ski racing sees men and women slide on snow at speeds as high as 130 km/h. Add to that corners, fade-aways and jumps and the line between a winning time and a massive crash grows ever smaller. TJ Lanning discusses what went through his head during this famous crash at the 2006 Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek, Colorado.
Tanner Hall on Chad’s Gap
One of freestyle skiing’s most infamous crashes was Tanner Hall on Chad’s Gap in the Wasatch Mountains near Alta Ski Area, Utah. Hall came up short by just inches on the 120-foot gap, shattering both his ankles at the same time. The Armada athlete was bound to a wheel chair until he healed the following season.
Ian Mcintosh tumbles 1,600 feet in Alaska
A viral video from 2015, pro skier veteran Ian McIntosh took one of the biggest falls in ski movie history while filming for TGR’s Paradise Waits. After falling into a five foot deep trench in the first few turns, he then tumbled over 1,600 feet down a couloir in the Alaska’s Neacola Range. McIntosh was lucky enough to walk away unharmed.
Tim Durtschi slams into a tree
Skiing through trees is one of the sport’s most enjoyable types of terrain. Timing your turns not just for speed control but to also to avoid solid pillars of cellulose makes it all the more exhilarating. Until this happens. Tim Durtschi demonstrates what can go wrong in treed terrain.
Callum Pettit plays human golf into a Crevasse
Crevasses are one of the biggest dangers of glacier travel and big mountain skiing, requiring careful navigation. But when the line goes all but sideways there’s nothing one can do but just hang on and hope for the best. Callum Pettit demonstrates his best human golf technique in this TGR clip.
Dana Flahr’s massive tomahawk at Last Frontier Heliskiing
While filming here at Last Frontier Heliskiing with TGR, Dana Flahr ended up taking one of the biggest “tommies” of his career. It’s not always the big mountain lines that have the biggest crashes. Freestyle tricks off wind lips can go just as wrong, as demonstrated with Dana’s front flip in this video.
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