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Obstacle Ski Course

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"Go that way, really fast. If something gets in your way, turn."
Charles De Mar, Better Off Dead

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 1940 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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    Asian Animation 
  • Downplayed in Pleasant Goat Fun Class: Sports are Fun episode 5. Tibbie goes skiing and ends up being chased by a Snowlem. The ski course includes only one obstacle, a huge popsicle, but Tibbie still has to avoid the popsicle while the Snowlem ends up running into it.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • As quoted above, Better Off Dead climaxes with a chaotic downhill ski-race between the hero and villain.

  • Our Miss Brooks: In "Skis In The Classroom", Miss Brooks ends up skiing downhill without knowing how to ski. Miss Brooks ends her ski with a very ill advised maneuver; skiing toward a tree, grabbing onto the branches and forcing a stop!

    Video Game 
  • As seen in the page image above, the entire point of the classic Windows game SkiFree. Trees, chairlifts and their poles, jumps and even the Yeti are in your way.
  • 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.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario Kart:
      • Mario Kart Wii: DK Summit (DK's Snowboard Cross in Europe) in the Flower Cup has racers travel over jumps, a mogul field, and a half-pipe populated with Shy-Guys.
      • Mario Kart 8: The final segment of Mount Wario in the Star Cup takes place on a slalom course and a ski jumping hill. In addition, Wii DK Summit returns in Wave 4 of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass as the third track in the Fruit Cup.
    • Mario Party: Several mini-games in the various games take place on such slopes (including one where you have to try to outrun a Human Snowball):
      • Mario Party 4 has the minigame Avalanche!, where the characters have to outrun, well, an avalanche.
      • Mario Party 5: The minigame Tube It Or Lose It is a variation. All characters are racing through a snowy racetrack tailored for skiing, but they're not using skiboards. Instead, one character is driving a round motorboat with a spinning spiky belt, while the other three are driving inner tubes. The objective of the three rival players is to reach the goal, while the solo players has to destroy their vehicles with their machines spikes. If the solo player manages to defeat the trio to prevent all of them from reaching the goal, then the former will win. But if at least one player from the trio manages to reach the goal without being caught by the solo player, then the trio wins.
      • Mario Party 7: The minigame Snow Ride has all four players race in a prolonged, albeit straightforward slalom track. They have to keep an eye on the incoming archs so they can cross them, as clashing against the sideway walls will make them waste previous time. Whoever reaches the goal first wins.
      • Mario Party 8: The minigame Alpine Assault has all characters use snowboards to descend through a snowy slope. Along the way, there are ramps the characters can use to perform jumps and increase their speed; however, there are also snowmen they have to avoid as clashing against them will make them waste time. Whoever reaches the bottom goal first wins; but if two or more characters reach there at the same time or nobody manages to do so after five minutes, the minigame ends in a tie.
      • Mario Party DS: The minigame Nothing to Luge has all players racing through the snowy tracks of a sleigh (they fit in due to their reduced size). One character is racing across the one at the right while using a wooden spoon, while the other three race across the one in the left while using a wooden shoe. The trio has to coordinate their controls in order to overcome the curves along the way. Whoever (whether the solo player or the rival trio) reaches the bottom of the hill first wins; but if neither side manages to do so after five minutes or both get there at the same time, the minigame ends in a tie.
  • The fifth level in Mission: Impossible (Konami) (1990) takes place on the Swiss Alps, as you ski down the mountains and avoid trees, snow drifts, holes in the ice, collapsing bridges, enemy snipers and snowmobilers, and an attack helicopter. You even use your ski poles as a weapon.
  • The NES game Slalom is built entirely on this trope. The game involves skiing quickly down various mountains while having to dodge; snowmen, kids on sleds, other skiers, and bumps. The fact that one of the courses is named "Mt. Nasty" should give you an idea of what kind of experience you're in for.
  • In South Park: Chef's Luv Shack, the "Avalanche" mini-game involves Stan, Eric, Kyle, and/or Kenny skiing down a slope while collecting snacks and avoiding obstacles, including the snowy wall of doom.

    Visual Novels 
  • The escape from the avalanche in Double Homework seemingly brings the protagonist and his classmates through a wooded area. Considering this, it’s a miracle that they all make it through alive.

    Western Animation 
  • SpongeBob SquarePants does something related with snowboarding, on a sand mound, using his tongue as board.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • In Shaun the Sheep, the Farmer uses his house as an outdoor-indoor obstacle course, complete with tripping over the gutter and crashing into his furniture and cat!