Originally Posted by Chaos
I'm glad the guy wasn't seriously hurt, but he could've been very easily. $1000, and some "oohs" and "ahhs" isn't worth the risk of spending the rest of your life in wheelchair. Just one slip up and it's over. The impact from that height would snap your neck or break your back real quick.
I understand where you're coming from Chaos. I'm glad he wasn't seriously hurt too. I'm sure alot of people here agree with you.
But I can tell you this, both from personal experience on cliffs of this height and from personally knowing Mike:
Mike is a professional. He's been doing this a very long time and has a strong background in racing, big mountain competitions, filming, and backcountry safety. He knows enough about the optimal conditions and his own abilities to minimize risk for injury as much as possible. He is not reckless and would not, and does not, pull moves like this without a deep understanding of the snowpack, his own ability, and what it takes to make conditions as safe as possible to attempt to pull something like this off.
It's very hard to explain to someone what it feels like landing a cliff of this height into the OPTIMAL conditions. When conditions are right, it is not as dangerous as it looks to the untrained eye. In fact, I would argue that it is more reckless to jump off cliffs of much lower height (i.e. 10, 20, 30 feet etc) into the WRONG conditions and that is something which happens at a much higher frequency than what is shown in the video.
Sure, even in the most perfect world we can envision, things can and do go wrong (as evidenced by the video). But by just participating in this sport, we all run the risk of injury. In your quote above, you say "just one slip up and its over". Which is true to some degree....but I would also argue that someone who is cranking a high-speed GS turn on an icy slope is also in a situation of "just one slip up and it's over". Anyone who has ever set edge to a racecourse may also be in a situation of "one slip up and it's over". No skier, at any level or ability, lives in an indestructible bubble that protects them from injury all over the mountain. But still, we all make the decision to go out, experience life to the fullest we can, and put ourselves at risk for injury every time we click into our bindings.
I guess I'm just trying to make a point that what Mike has done here is not as reckless or as dangerous as it might seem. And because of his background and the thought process that he goes through in determining if the conditions are right for a huck of this magnitude, it is not as exponentially more dangerous than what the greater number of skiers do day in and day out on the slopes themselves as it may seem.