The small figures of brave men and women pitted against the overwhelming, grand vistas of nature as they charge down snowy slopes, power down rapid waterfalls, leap across dark chasms, or reach for the next handhold on a sheer cliffside. Our frail forms laid bare to the whims of nature.

These startling images were captured – in sequence – for the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2013 and they provide an insight into the skill and fearlessness – and just plain craziness! – these extreme sports enthusiasts possess.

Take a look at a few of these insane images below:

1

Photographer: Jussi Grznar

Athlete: Mikey Rencz

Location: Whistler, BC,

2

Photographer: Marco Jörger

Athlete: Marc Paosut

Location: Davos Platz, Switzerland

Photographer: Christian Pondella

Athlete: Brandon Semenuk

Location: Virgin, UT, USA

4

Photographer: David Carlier

Athlete: Eric Seymour

Location: Mesa Falls, ID, USA

5

Photographer: Richard Baybutt

Athlete: Dan Clifford

Location: Sheffield, United Kingdom

Photographer: Dan Carr

Athlete: Sammy Carlson

Location: Whistler, BC, Canada

Photographer: Andreas Busslinger

Athlete: Chrigel Maurer

Location: Bachalpsee, Grindelwald-First, Switzerland

8

Photographer: Andres Valencia

Athlete: Matias Rodriguez

Location: Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia

9

Photographer: Mike Leeds

Athlete: Evan Garcia

Location: Spirit Falls, Little White Salmon River, WA, USA

10

Photographer: Graeme Murray

Athlete: Chuck Berry

Location: Wanaka, New Zealand

11

Photographer: Blotto Gray

Athlete: Jeremy Jones

Location: Anchorage, AK, USA

12

Photographer: Zakary Noyle

Athlete: Gabriel Medina

Location: Oahu, HI, USA

14

Photographer: Scott Serfas

Athlete: John Jackson

Location: Aniak, AK, USA