|As snow creeps down the mountainside, ski and snowboard fans are eagerly dusting off their gear and waiting anxiously for the first measurable snow. According to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center, the coming months in Alaska will experience higher than average precipitation – but also higher than average temperatures. Whether those temperatures manage to dip below freezing and bring snow remains to be seen. But by the end of November, the snow is predicted to come on a bit more strongly.|
Meanwhile, get stoked with the latest in ski and snowboard films, four of which will be shown in southcentral Alaska.
Rossignol rep Ira Edwards said two films to put on the calendar include Matchstick Productions’ “Drop Everything” and Big Picture Media’s “Lite Years.”
“This is one of, and potentially THE, largest fundraising event of the year for the Alaska Avalanche School and the Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center,” Edwards said of the “Drop Everything” viewing.
Two others not to be missed include TGR’s “Rogue Elements” and Warren Miller’s “Line of Descent,” both playing at Bear Tooth TheatrePub in October and November. Those films benefit Challenge Alaska and the Alyeska Ski Club.
Showing: 7 and 9 p.m., Oct. 19, at Wendy Williamson Auditorium
Directed by: MatchStick Productions
Benefitting: All proceeds go to the Alaska Avalanche School and Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Info Center.
MatchStick Productions had fun with this film and it shows. Girdwood’s Elyse Saugstad and husband, Cody Townsend, both have prominent roles and share plenty of laughs in this film, dubbed the “funniest, most action-packed ski movie of 2017.” It has fantastic cinematography, taking advantage of the Sierras record snowfall; a great soundtrack; and humor laced throughout. The trailer is a hilarious spoof on the idea of “more,” but you have to watch it to appreciate it.
“Ski Movies have detracted from what they are meant to be in recent years,” said MSP tour director Ben Sanford. “We decided to poke fun at ourselves as well as the ski industry in general, this is where the ‘more’ aspect came from. We find ourselves trying to out-do each other and ourselves year after year, but at the end of the day we just want to have fun sliding down a hill in good company.”
The film features some of the world’s preeminent freeskiers, including Mark Abma, Markus Eder, Eric Hjorleifson, Michelle Parker, Sammy Carlson, Townsend and Alaska’s own Saugstad, Tanner Rainville, Chris Rubens, Aaron Blunck, Sander Hadley, Connery Lundin and more.
Showing: 5:30, 8 and 10:30 p.m., Oct. 26, at Bear Tooth TheatrePub
Directed by: Teton Gravity Research
Benefitting: Proceeds benefit Challenge Alaska.
REI has helped TGR launch this intense film with scenes that seem, simply, impossible. The soundtrack tune, “Free Animal,” by Foreign Animal, is perfectly suited to get your adrenaline going. Here’s what TGR has to say about this memorable film, which has three showings in late October: “Since the dawn of time, everything that has lived and breathed on this planet has been subject to the whims of Mother Nature. The nature of an adventurer is inherently rogue; typically wild in character, subject to the fancy of their imagination. We are unequivocally drawn to nature’s rawest fury and deepest mysteries. These are the irreverent souls who pursue the edge.”
Set mostly outside of Alaska and zeroing in on some of the most extreme weather of the winter of 2016-2017, enjoy a look at unbridled adventure in Wyoming, Europe and South America.
Showing: 7 p.m., Nov. 4, at Williwaw, followed by DJ music afterward
Directed by: Big Picture Media
Benefitting: Proceeds benefit Arctic Valley Ski Area
This fun, chill and impressive film by Big Picture Media is sponsored by Rossignol among others, and follows legendary freeskiers Chris Logan, Parker White, Duncan Adams, Mike King and Tanner Rainville. Started in 2013, The Big Picture concept broadened the “feature-film-length” tradition to offer a web series that follows East Coast rivals Logan and White, who are now great friends and partners. Using personal influences from music, art and everything but skiing, Big Media’s latest, “Lite Years,” delivers. You get a sense that here is a group of people to whom conformity knows no limits. From the soundtrack to the cinematography, this film, online and free, is worth checking out. Better yet, see it Williwaw with a great group of your own friends and support Arctic Valley Ski Area in the process.
LINE OF DESCENT
Showing: 5:30 p.m., Nov. 9-12, at Bear Tooth TheatrePub, and 7 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Homer Theatre
Directed by: Warren Miller
Benefitting: Proceeds benefit Alyeska Ski Club
Although none of this film took place in Alaska – boo! – it’s still a caffeinated ride to some of the world’s deepest lines in Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, British Columbia, Norway, New Zealand and most spectacularly, the French Alps of Val-d’Isere. But of course, this is the point of this, Miller’s 68th full-length feature ski film – to explore the “ties that bind ski culture,” no matter where you are on the globe.
The film will benefit Alyeska Ski Club, too, so it supports a great cause.
Others films of note
“This is Home”
Directed by: Faction Skis
Directed by: Good Company
Directed by: Level I
Directed by: Blank Collective