Among the world's most sought-after zones for big mountain skiing, Alaska offers majestic peaks full of opportunity for those who seek it.
However, the Alaskan Range – the highest mountains in the world outside of Asia and the Andes – and its many challenges are often more than meets the eye.
"Glaciers are their own animals," said Jon 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
For the upcoming film "The Unrideables: Alaska Range," three athletes – led by 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-fed flight.
The ever-changing, seemingly endless terrain can give an optical illusion to hidden crevaces, making terrain hard to read while traveling at the minimum 25 mph 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 practicing 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," DeVore conceded as one of the biggest challenges of identiying crevaces, cliffs and obstacles within the icey, subarctic environment. "It's been a massive learning process for big mountain speedriding."
The world premiere of the documentary film "The Unrideables: Alaska Range" will be Wednesday, Jan. 21, at The Depot in Salt Lake City, with additional screenings in Denver the following week before it becomes available for sale in February 2015.
Watch more exclusive videos at "The Unrideables: Alaska Range" official film page.