Thursday, December 10, 2009

Skiing Down Everest Today?

From the VerdePR Blog: Steep ice, gnarly terrain, 100 mph winds, and you're on 1970's ski gear... Oh, sign me up! Before extreme skiing gained popularity there was Yuichiro Miura of Japan who pulled off the most and still extreme downhill run of all. A shot down the earth's highest peak, Mt Everest. An interesting documentary that shows the preparations, ascent and eventual descent down Everest on skis. This 1975 film is rarely shown. While the actual footage of Miuras descent on his skis is short in length the film essentially is about the determination of an individual to achieve a goal that seems both challenging and unrealistic.

And now, we have essentially more extreme big mountain skiers than ever... So what's changed? Sociologists might argue that extreme sports are similar to vision quests or other traditional rites of passage common in some cultures. These rites are severe physical ordeals during which adolescents experience intense personal growth. Initiates leave their families and experience a lengthy seclusion or concur some physical challenge. Observers believe that extreme sports enthusiasts find a similar experience by undertaking epic activities in small, closely knit groups.

It might also be the gear. The increased participation in extreme athletic pursuit might be the enhanced sports technology. For example, the invention of sticky rubber-soled climbing shoes and artificial climbing walls broadened the appeal of rock climbing. And advances in shaped ski design created an platform whereby more skiers attempted extreme feats previously thought impossible.

Whatever the case, strap on your Julbo's and cinch up your Osprey Kode, and let's hit the peaks!
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