Speedriding is the newest, baddest action sport around – and the biggest, baddest place to do it is Alaska. Among the world's most sought-after zones for big mountain skiing, Alaska offers majestic peaks full of opportunity for those who seek to fly and ride at the same time.
However the highest mountains in the world outside of Asia and the Andes offer more challenges than meet the eye – literally. While speed-riding, you're going so fast over such unfamiliar terrain, you don't always know what's ahead.
The video above features new, previously unreleased footage from The Unrideables, the upcoming speedriding film. Three athletes – led by Jon DeVore, the human flight specialist and captain of the Red Bull Air Force – use speedriding to lay tracks on previously unrideable ski lines with the assistance of canopy flight.
“Glaciers are their own animals,” says DeVore. "[It] faces you with weird skiing conditions. Where you make a turn in soft powder and then, wham, blue ice."
I want to stay alive . . . So, yeah, you have to learn – fast.
– Filippo Fabbi
The terrain can hide crevasses, making lines hard to read while travelling at the minimum 25mph needed to keep a speedriding rig – a small, high-performance canopy – inflated and capable of flight.
“I want to stay alive,” Filippo 'Ippo' Fabbi said of practising the high-stakes, new sport within Alaska's largest, most daunting peaks, “So, yeah, you have to learn – fast.”
It's been a massive learning process for big mountain speedriding
"The optical illusion it gives you." That's what DeVore says is one of the biggest challenges of identifying crevasses, cliffs and obstacles within the icey, subarctic environment. “It's been a massive learning process for big mountain speedriding.”
The Unrideables: Alaska Range will premiere exclusively on RBTV from Jan 21-31.