Angel Collinson (shown here) has spent most of her life whooshing down mountains,.
She succeeded most of the time, starring in skiing movies and on magazine covers. She also failed a few times, once taking a dangerous, 1,000-foot fall.
So what’s the scariest moment she’s had so far? “When I asked my boyfrfiend out for a date,” she said.
She’s joking, a little, but with some truth at the core. Collinson is one of the athletes featured in “Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin,” a National Geographic Channel series that views top athletes and their toughest moments.
The series opens at 9:30 pm. Monday (Sept. 5), with Alex Honnold, the climber who was the subject of Chin’s Oscar-winning, 2018 movie, “Free Solo.” It follows at 10 with Collinson. The next night (Sept. 6), the show has kayaker Gerd Serrasolses at 10 p.m. and climber Conrad Anker at 10:30.After that, it continues on Tuesdays, with episodes reaching Disney+ on Wednesdays.
Each person faced fierce challenges. Anker once had a heart attack on a cliff, 20,000 feet above ground; it was, he told the Television Critics Association, just one of his three scariest days: “The 12th of December, 1992; Oct. 5, 1999; Nov. 16, 2016 – all three of those days, I should have died, but I didn’t.”
Chin knows the general feeling. He needs to have the skills of the people he’s profiling – “this guy is one fit individual,” said surfer Travis Rice – while also wielding a camera.
In one early climb witn Anker, they ended up staying five days on a ledge, hoping for a storm to abate. “You are kind of mentally prepared for (that) when you head to the Himalayas,” Chin said.
Athletes also must prepare for the day they quit. Collinson, 32, had known nothing else, growing up in a skiing family amid the Utah mountains. She finally realized she wasn’t ready to fully focus on the next downhill adventure.
“It was the most proud moment of my life,” she said. “I thought I was going to walk away with a bunch of regret, (but) it just wasn’t the day for it …. Maybe (leaving) saved my life.”
She retired from big-mountain skiing. And yes, she asked a guy for a date. He’s a sailor and she was ready to learn something new. They’ve now sailed across the Atlantic. Life brings new adventures.