Competitors who take part in the Freeride World Tour are constantly balancing the forces of risk and reward. The FWT skiers who charge their lines hard and fast do so in the knowledge that one misstep, one miscalculation, will likely result in them rag-dolling down the mountain in spectacular fashion.
The chance of injury is never too far away for them but to succeed the brave athletes taking part must bury such thoughts deep; never allowing them to cloud their judgement, never allowing them to blur the route ahead. It’s an art form, a genuine test of not only skill but nerve as well. It is, in all honesty, the kind of stuff that sports psychologists could talk your ear off about in the pub.
Sometimes, of course, the calculated gambles don’t pay off. Instead of skiing down the mountain successfully, the skier can go wrong. This video, courtesy of the Freeride World Tour, is a showcase of those moments when the best in the business are bested by the giant snowy hills they aim to conquer.
One of the most remarkable things about these crashes, when you stop to think about it, is that rather than walk away from the sport entirely, after being involved in them, these skiers come back for more year after year. Are they suckers for punishment? Arguably. Are they doing what they love? Absolutely.