Death-defying feat: Skiers descend slowly down Yosemite’s Half Dome

Category: Sports


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. daring / ˈdɛər ɪŋ / (adj) – involving difficulty, risk, or danger

    The actor wanted to try the daring stunt, but his manager said it was too risky.

  2. feat / fit / (n) – an extraordinary achievement that shows strength, skill, bravery, etc.

    Reaching the top of the world’s tallest mountain is an amazing feat.

  3. bare / bɛər / (adj) – not covered by anything

    The bare floor was cold in winter, so we bought some rugs.

  4. film / fɪlm / (v) – to record a video of someone or something

    The proud dad filmed his daughter’s musical.

  5. side-slip / ˈsaɪdˌslɪp / (v) – to travel or slide sideways on one’s skis

    I’m not really good at skiing, but I managed to side-slip down the hill.


Read the text below.

Two skiers risked death for an unusually daring feat — skiing down the famous Half Dome rock in California’s Yosemite National Park.

Jason Torlano, 45, and Zach Milligan, 40, completed the feat in five hours on Feb. 21. They skied down the sections with snow, and rappelled sections of bare rock, according to The Fresno Bee.

“If you fall to your left or right, you’re definitely dead,” said J.T. Holmes, a professional free skier and friend of Torlano’s. “If you fall down the middle, you have a small chance of not falling to your death — but it’s a maybe.”

Torlano said he had been dreaming about skiing the dome since his family moved to Yosemite when he was 5 years old.

“It’s just always been there,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Milligan at first planned to only film Torlano skiing, but decided to go down too by carefully side-slipping down on skis. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • It took Torlano and Milligan about five hours to ski and rappel down Half Dome. Would you ever consider trying to do that? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, why do some people risk death to do daring feats (ex. for the adrenaline rush, for fame)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Torlano said that he’d been dreaming about skiing Half Dome since he was 5 years old. Have you ever accomplished a long-term dream like that (ex. visiting a special place overseas, selling your artwork)? If so, how did you feel? Discuss.
  • Do you think it’s important for everyone to have long-term dreams, or is it okay to go through life focusing only on the present? Why? Discuss.