The Art of the Fall

ski falls, crashes, art of the fall

So many ways to wipe out.

In a way, all skiers are simply falling down a mountain. But there are amateurs and artists when it comes to crashing. Indeed, crashing is an art. The slope is the canvas, flying bodies the brush. A finished work of art can leave gear strewn for hundreds of yards, blood stains in the snow, and stunned witnesses who will need years of intensive psychotherapy. With the following guide, it is now possible for you to score your own wrecks. And keep this in mind: If you aren’t crashing, you aren’t trying hard enough.

The Tomahawk
In order to qualify as a “Tomahawk” and not just a violent “Yardsale” or a “Rag Doll,” speed must be impressive and full-body; vertical rotations must take place in two points of contact or less. The telltale track in the snow will be a series of divots left by feet and head alternately perforating the fall line. 10 points.

The Slide for Life
Requires icy conditions and very steep slopes. Potential for “Rag Doll” is high, which will raise score. Basically any fall that results in an out-of-control, unstoppable sliding situation is a “Slide for Life.” Additional points may be added if the slider launches off cliffs or into groups of international tourists dressed in neon fartbags. Intentional self-arrest negates any point totals. 8 points.

The Plop
The most embarrassing type of fall. Typically occurs in the liftline or other crowded area. A simple loss of balance leads to a slow-motion fall to one side or the other. Alcohol or other controlled substances are often involved. One extra point is awarded for each innocent bystander who plops as result of the original plopper.
Three points for a single “Plop.” Unlimited point potential.

The Crumple
Sometimes the result of fatigue, more often the result of huge moguls and too much speed. Often performed by tourists from Michigan. A skier plows directly into the uphill side of a hard mogul and cannot absorb the impact, resulting in a “Crumple.” Recognizable by a loud whooshing sound as air exits the lungs upon impact. 5 points. If the “Crumple” results in a “Yardsale,” award 3 extra points.

The Snap, Crackle, Pop
Typically a backward, twisting fall in which the sound of ripping knee ligament tissue is audible to passersby. First-timers will cry and scream bloody murder. Veterans will calmly begin icing and have an orthopedic surgeon on speed dial before the ski-patrol arrives. 10 points.

The Rag Doll
Generally follows a high-speed loss of control. Any body orientation is acceptable, so long as full-body rotations on multiple axes take place. Typically the subject appears lifeless and limp. Different from a “Tomahawk” in that a “Rag Doll” includes—and encourages—any and all impacts with the earth. 7 points. If the skier regains control and skis away before coming to a stop, award 10 extra points.

The Yardsale
Can happen during all other types of falls. A minimum of three major pieces of outerwear must orbit the crasher for the duration of the crash. Hats, helmets, gloves, goggles, packs, and skis all count. Add three 3 points to any existing score unless the crasher loses one or both ski boots. This is a spectacular crash and is subject to review.

The Suspended Inversion
Unique to the deep snows of Bridger Bowl. Typically a forward fall resulting in complete inverted submersion under ridiculous amounts of snow. Can lead to suffocation or deranged bliss, depending on the subject. Recognized by wiggling, disembodied legs pointed toward the sky. 0 points. No one does a silly thing like scoring crashes on a powder day.