In the world of Olympic ski jumping, there are ski jumping hills and there are ski flying hills. The ladder can be nearly twice as big at around 700 feet compared to 400 feet.
Freestyle skier Sammy Carlson recently tackled the largest ski ramp in the western hemisphere and he did it backwards.
With the stunt, the pro skier and 8-time X-Games medalist brought the Copper Peak ski flying hill in Michigan back to life . The 24-story ramp hadn’t been used in 20 years until Carlson and the team at Teton Gravity Research came along.
“As soon as we made the decision we were going, instantly my hands started sweating,” Carlson said in the video, which was released as a preview to the upcoming Sammy C Project feature film. “The whole idea behind the ski flying hill was just to try and go as big as I possibly could. I thought it would be a place I could really send it to the world.”
After a few practice runs hitting the giant ramp doing 720s (720 degree spin), Carlson attempted the death-defying trick that had brought him so much anxiety. Switching stances as he soared down the ramp backwards, he hit the lip and pulled a 540, completing the trick without a hitch.
Built in 1970, the Copper Peak ski flying hill took some 35 years to construct, representing dedication and commitment to a sport that lets competitors soar like birds.
Photo credit: Teton Gravity Research