Ski films have been coming out of the woodwork the last couple of weeks. I enjoy watching anything having to do with sliding on snow but I always look forward to what brothers Jonah and Noah Howell of Powderwhores bring to the table. This seasons effort, Elevation, looks to be another classic that will get plenty of screen time in this household during those excruciating fall days awaiting snow accumulation.
Maybe one of the reasons I enjoy their films so much, besides the cinematography, deep snow and big airs, is that they share the same views and mindset on the backcountry as I do. They put it into words much better than I could-
Before resorts, lift tickets and overpriced pizza, there was adventure in skiing. Before the mountains were harnessed with lifts, bound with ropes and scarred with designated runs, they were wild. Actions with consequences were chosen and the individual was held responsible. No liability forms or waivers. The lifts came and made the mountains small, tame and in time, boring.
We were sold that THIS is skiing. And we obeyed.
With this resurgence into the backcountry we look for real adventure beyond the tightly wound, firmly stretched orange and black ropes that “protect” us from knowing freedom.
The backcountry is the imagination unleashed and you get out what you put in. There are real boundaries and limitations though; avalanches, exposure to the elements, conditions and fatigue all challenge one to grow in knowledge, patience and fitness. The joy comes in discovering these limitations, moving through fear and exploring beyond. Putting in the perspiration and inspiration leads to ELEVATION.
The only other film I’m curious about is Sweetgrass Productions Valhalla. I really enjoyed the visually stunning and soul touching film Solitaire, though after watching the trailer for Valhalla I’m not sure if it’s a ski film or an acid trip. Still has my curiosity piqued and looking forward to it.
Still some summer left but it’s time to be thinking SNOW!