Sky Piercers: An Epic Attempt to Ski New Zealand’s Tallest Mountain

Four skiers from across the world take on the ultimate adventure in this film.

“It’s a very dramatic, very young mountain,” narrates skier Sam Smoothy. “It’s a mountain I’ve always aspired to ski.” Mount Cook stands tall at 12,218 feet. Most people who have tried winter descents on the mountain have failed due to harsh weather and conditions.

Snow athletes Sam Smoothy, Xavier De Le Rue, Nadine Wallner, and Fraser McDougall formed the four-person team that took on New Zealand’s Mount Cook in 2019.

The objective of the trip, as one skier put it, was to not just ski, but rip the mountain to pieces. It was about overcoming the highest challenge.

The full 45-minute Red Bull Media film, published in 2019, is available now for free. And it’s great inspiration for planning your next big-mountain adventure — wherever that may be.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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