Pushing boundaries, taking chances, daring to go “where no man has gone before..” This is the essence of freeskiing, the very foundation it was built on.
This week we see these core tenants put into action by none other than Sammy Carlson. Sammy, while filming a segment for his newly released film with action sports media company Teton Gravity Research (TGR), The Sammy C Project, set out to hit the largest ski jump in the Western Hemisphere. This jump, Michigan’s Copper Peak, was built in 1970 as a long jump for “ski-flying” and hasn’t seen use in 20 years. It was the perfect jump for Sammy to, as he puts it, “send it to the moon.”
Sammy is no newcomer to freesking. He is a 7-time X Games medalist and has been known to be a leader in the progression of the sport. Even after taking a step back from competition in 2014 he still finds a way to impress us all and garner accolade’s by taking home 3 consecutive X Games Real Ski Backcountry gold medals. Sammy’s session on Copper Peak will help him add to his lengthy list of accomplishments and secure him a spot in the record books as the first and only skier to hit this type of jump with freestyle intent. Copper Peak is intended for the straight airs of ski jumping so the spinning and flips of freeskiing is already something this jump has never seen, but Sammy takes it a step further by approaching many of his tricks switch, or backwards (if you are unfamiliar with ski terminology).
To set the scene and help express just how gnarly this jump is here are a few figures: Copper Peaks is a daunting 24 stories. It boasts a 364 ft. vertical drop and a 35° in-run. Distance records from this jump are over 500 feet. Simply put, this jump is massive and to hit it is a major feat alone, but to do it with steaze (a term used in action sports meaning style and ease) like Sammy’s is incredibly impressive. TGR’s co-founder Steve Jones highlighted this saying: “The jump is truly enormous. Hitting a gap this big in general takes significant confidence and skill, not to mention spinning from its lip or dropping in switch. Sammy is unbeatable when it comes to skiing like this.” I could not agree with him more, right now you would be hard-pressed to find someone consistently pushing the limit like Sammy.
“The Sammy C” project premiered in November and is available on iTunes, Google play, and Amazon now! For the official trailer and more information on “The Sammy C Project” check out www.thesammycproject.com.