Big-mountain skiers Xavier De Le Rue, Ralph Backstrom, and Sam Anthamatten decided to take a new approach for scaling Alaska's backcountry peaks. After skiing into remote wilderness near Hines, Alaska, and setting up camp, the trio takes turns flying up to fresh lines with a powered paraglider. While the first couple runs end with cartwheeling falls before they even start — they were hitting the snow at 80 percent of their max speed — the athletes quickly get the hang of dropping in from the moving parachute and start ripping down the mountains with astonishing speed. One of the biggest challenges, says Backstrom, was the harness clips freezing during the flight. "Some would unclip, and occasionally one or two wouldn't, leaving you with little protection should something go wrong a couple thousand feet up in the air," he says.
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