The hills are alive with the sound of whoopee. Why simply ski down a slope when you can walk right out into the air—this is called doing a Daffy. And then, as long as you're up there anyway, why not throw in a Helicopter—this is a 360-degree turn. Or a free-spinning sort of upside-down flying split cartwheel spreadeagle with a kick—this is called a mistake and you usually land on your left earlobe. Well, at least you are trying; other people crash and they're not doing anything more imaginative than a snowplow turn. It is the free spirit of thrashing around that counts now. This natural extension of recreational skiing is called hot dogging and it is a mania that has caught up the youth of the country. Hot-dog contests have sprung up, hot-dog language is spoken, some ski schools conduct lab courses in early hot dog, and the reason everybody gets to play this new game is that everybody can do some stunt, even if it is what this salty new vernacular calls the Butt Crusher. Scott Macrino at right is being a very big dog in his Double Flip for the national championships at Vail, and other hot doggers are falling out of the same Colorado sky on the next two pages. Each flight, according to the young patriarchs of hot dogging, is an ego trip. "There are inner limits and outer limits to skiing," says Dave Wheeler of Sun Valley. "The inner limits are a total drag." And now there are signs that this epidemic, our first successful skiing export, is spreading to Europe and the next sounds you hear will be someone talking about le chien chaud or der heisse Hund. "Awwright, man," as the doggers say—but let them try to translate the Triple Wallbanger.
All the world's a stage to a hot-dogger and every little movement has a meaning—and a term—of its own. Here are Rossi Moreau doing a Pole Flip and Bill Burks a Butt Crusher, Wayne Wong a Royal Christie and Alan Jones a floating Flip with a Split.