Freeskier Julian Carr Goes for a Record Cliff Jump


Julian Carr plans to fling himself into the record books this winter

Freeskier Julian Carr Goes for a Record Cliff Jump
Christina Erb

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The biggest risk when landing a 300-foot cliff huck? Your organs could literally explode. But 30-year-old freeskier Julian Carr thinks he can decrease the chances of that happening when he goes for the record jump at Vision Cliff, outside Jackson, Wyoming, sometime this winter. It involves a swan dive into a modified tuck-and-roll landing—at nearly 100 miles per hour. “People say I’m an idiot, that this takes no skills,” says Salt Lake City–based Carr, whose current high mark is a 210-footer in Switzerland. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. I prepare for it, and it allows me to transform my fear into total confidence.” The current record for intentional hucks (a Norwegian skier survived an accidental free fall from a 350-foot cliff last winter) is held by freeskier Jamie Pierre, who dropped a 255-foot cliff in January 2006 without injury, though he landed on his head. Above is a look at Carr’s off-the-wall plan.

1. Carr will sculpt a 70-foot RUNWAY to the cliff’s edge. The downward ramp, which starts at a 50-degree angle, will allow him to reach 30 mph just as he goes airborne.

2. Once he’s falling, Carr will arch into a SWAN DIVE for the first 100 feet. “I’ll enter this weird time warp,” he says. “Everything slows down. I can hear birds chirping.”

3. Roughly 200 feet and 3.5 seconds into his jump, Carr will roll into a half FRONT FLIP, aiming his back toward the ground. From here, it’s a blind free fall.

4. For Carr to attempt the stunt, there has to be enough snow on the 200-by-200-foot LANDING ZONE—at least a ten-foot base, with another 60 inches of powder on top. “I’ll spend three hours probing with a pole, so that I’m sure the landing area is rock-free,” he says. “That’s why it’s so damn fun when I jump—I know it’s a go.”

5. Sailing through the air with his back to the ground, Carr will IMPACT the 50-degree slope with his shoulders first, then his lower back, and finally his skis. The majority of the force will be absorbed by his skis and legs.