Rules and guidelines of extreme sports

When it comes to getting rad in the outdoors, one cannot simply waltz into steep and difficult terrain without a care in the world. Throughout the ages, there have been rules in place that athletes have needed to follow to be in the category of “extreme.” Without these rules, sports such as base jumping would not be “extreme,” but would rather fall into the same category as water polo or golf. It is these rules which cause extreme sports to stand out. Nowadays, I have noticed an increasing number of people not adhering to these rules, and therefore no longer falling under the “extreme” category that all skiers and climbers aspire to. This is upsetting, as the rules are quite easy to follow. Here is a reminder of what to focus on when doing things in the outdoors if you’re trying to be extreme:

Style First

Especially in the age of social media, style is of the utmost importance. People are going to be seeing what others are doing outside, therefore performing in good style is necessary. Instead of wearing clothing that is bland and blends into the environment, you should wear bright, tight fitting clothes. Think Lycra from the eighties and nighties –the brighter the better. If your eyes hurt looking at the Lycra, then it is perfect.

Additionally, the style with which these activities are done matters.You should not focus solely on hucking a cliff, but doing so based off the game G.N.A.R. Not sure what G.N.A.R. is? Find out in next week’s outdoor column. When climbing, you should not climb fluidly and cleanly, but rather with as much dynoing as possible. If you’re not jumping from hold to hold, you are not trying hard enough or putting on enough of a show.

Suffer Second

Suffering is cool. It’s trendy. Nothing says “I’m a cool, hardcore climber” like comparing voluntary pain to the suffering of refugees forced to evacuate their homes. In addition to wearing bright clothing, wear clothing that isn’t the best choice for that environment. Climbing Everest? Wear flip flops as a statement to cold being relative. Leave the sunscreen at home. Intentionally forget the food. Make suffering cool again.

Safety Third

While adhering to rules one and two, it should be easy to follow rule three. Be safe, but do so after prioritizing the first two rules. Questioning whether to place a screw or run it out? Run it out. Lock that carabiner? I don’t think so. Ski more than one person on a slope in avalanche terrain, but still be safe. Always be looking for ways to be stylish and suffer before thinking about not dying. Ski on the -40 degree day in a mankini, but perhaps bring hand warmers just in case.

By following these simple rules, you will be blessed by the extreme mountain gods of old and reach extreme Nirvana, where the lines are steeper, the faces cleaner and the powder deeper. Embrace these rules, live with good style, and reap all the benefits of radness that are to come.

Note: This article is meant as satire and none of the advice should be taken seriously. The Exponent does not condone risky behavior.


Illustration by Alejandra Flores