Obstacle Ski Course

You'd think characters would be more careful about where they practice dangerous sports, but that wouldn't be funny or, for Video Games, fun, so when a character goes skiing he'll inevitably have to dodge all sort of obstacles such as snow mounds, snowmen, boulders, trees, and likely other skiers.

For added Rule of Funny, the ski-tracks go on both sides of the trees, leading to people staring at that and wondering how it could be possible (a gag first used by Charles Addams in a '40s New Yorker magazine cartoon). Martin Gardner published a riddle once, about how such a thing can be possible in real life. He himself had 6 answers ready note . Someone sent him 23.

A common way to set this up is to have a character accidentally (or not, if daring, boastful, ignorant or just not smart enough) starts descending while oblivious to anything you need to know about skiing to not die horribly, and end up as a Human Snowball.


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  • Part of the maze which Niobe has to navigate to ask the Magician a question (he is in Hell) takes place in one of these in the Incarnations of Immortality novel "A Tangled Skein"

  • Averted by Sega's Sapporo; outside of a single snowman off to the side of the playfield, the slopes are sensibly clear of inappropriate obstacles.

    Video Game 
  • Two levels in Yoshi's Island are based around this, the second one being a Nintendo Hard Bonus Level.
  • The entire Snowboard Kids series.
  • The Activision Atari 2600 video game Skiing is based on this.
  • Several mini-games in the various Mario Party games take place on such slopes (including one where you have to try to outrun a Human Snowball).
  • As seen in the page image above, the entire point of the classic Windows game SkiFree.
  • The Macintosh also had its own skiing games, notably MacSki and Ingemar's Skiing Game.
  • And of the second half of Horace Goes Skiing (the first half is a Frogger clone).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog does this frequently, except usually using a snowboard instead. Still loads of stuff to dodge though. White Acropolis in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) is notable for HORRIBLE controls and jumping being almost impossible to pull off.
  • This is the entire point of SSX 2012; Team SSX is on a race against a rival team to conquer the deadliest mountains. While they all have elements of this kind of course, the first Deadly Decent takes the cake: TREES.
  • One of the mini-games in Tiny Toon Adventures: Wild and Wacky Sports involves Buster and his friends skiing down a mountain.

    Western Animation 
  • SpongeBob SquarePants does something related with snowboarding, on a sand mound, using his tongue as board.
  • The Simpsons does this. Homer tries to remember an important lesson about skiing his skiing instructor taught him, but he can only remember Flanders in a skin-tight suit.
  • On Futurama, Prof. Farnsworth is seen skiing while fast asleep. By the time he arrives at the ski lodge and wakes up, he apparently entered a skiing competition and won third place. (According to Word of God (via DVD commentary) having him come in first would have been too implausible.)
  • The Classic Disney Short "The Art of Skiing" has Goofy doing all kinds of variations of this, most memorably accidentally skiing backwards.
  • Rocko goes skiing at a ski lodge. He's not very good at it. Hilarity Ensues.
  • ReBoot has a Santa Claus User play one of these. Enzo gets to kill him with a large icicle.
  • There's an episode of Adventures from the Book of Virtues in which Annie was challenged by a trio of bigger kids called the Wolf Pack to ski with them in a race. Upon hearing this, Zach tries to talk her out, telling her that it's too dangerous to ski with the trio. However, Annie doesn't listen to him; she sprains her ankle by accident while skiing with the Wolf Pack.