Archive for November, 2010

La Nina in Da House… West rocks out with early season blower…

November 19, 2010

We all have our favourite bumper stickers. Mine fave – I think it originated in Fernie – is I HEART BIG DUMPS! And I do. And right now, across the western USA, all the way up into the Interior of British Columbia, it is puking. Pix from Silverton, Steamboat, Jackson, Alta, Whitefish, Whistler, Sun Peaks, Silver Star, it’s going off, just like the meteorologists said it would! Virtually every major resort in the West will be  open in time for US Thanksgiving next weekend, and from the looks of it, conditions are, like White Planet author Leslie Anthony sez, ‘it’s all-time!’ Late today, through the miracle that is Facebook, a beauty of a Vimeo segment dropped on the Black Diamond website that features one of the Pettit brothers – the elder Callum, who is shredding pow in BC and Alagna, IT, in this unbelievable footage with a PINK FLOYD soundtrack… I have never seen people so stoked for the season… “Waiting for Someone or Something to Show You The Way…”

The Big Week of JD Hare…

November 11, 2010

I must confess, three days ago I wasn’t quite sure exactly who JD Hare was. Did he live in Bralorne, or Breckenridge? I’d seen his name in a few mags, but for the life of me couldn’t tell you if he was a jibber, a racer, or a porn (ski) star. Turns out he’s not really any of the above. However, drawn by the bold cover line “Return of the Extreme Skier” in the newest issue of Powder (with the tantalizing sub-title ‘Tantalus First Descent)’ – I now know. JD Hare is an extreme skier. Or, well, a damned fine ski mountaineer. And one thing led to another – on Tuesday, the new issue of Mountain Life dropped at Arc’teryx world headquarters, and there was another story about JD Hare – this one a first person account. Then today, Patagonia posted some sweet POV from – you guessed it – JD Hare skiing the “Ivory Shoulder” on Mount Alpha. Piecing all three of these stories together, it turns out that Hare pushed hard for a day in the Tantalus Range last spring and came away with not one, but two epic descents. The second of these – the Middle Earth Couloir – ended with a epic triple-rapp in pitch-black darkness. I’m not really sure if Hare skied any more runs in the Tantalus or if he has sworn off big mountain skiing entirely, but I do know this – he got EPIC coverage from one day in the rowdiest mountain range in southwestern BC. Channeling earlier conquests by the likes of Eric Pehota, John Chilton, and Pete The Swede Mattson,we sure as hell know who JD Hare is now…

All They Can. Rocky Mountain Sherpas Teaser Lands…

November 9, 2010

Apparently, even Canmore-based videographer Dave Mossop of the Rocky Mountain Sherpas was nervous about the teaser for next year’s enviro/ski documentary All. I. Can. making its premiere on the www.arcteryx.com website. (Disclosure: I work for Arc’teryx). And in a way, a case of the jitters is understandable. When you’ve put as much work into just a six-minute teaser as Mossop and his crew have put into the incredibly kinetic kaleidoscope of imagery that the Sherpas have, you are setting the bar ridONKUlously high for what a full-length feature film might look like. The teaser, as you’ll see, is completely breathtaking. It’s as though Jordan Manley‘s still photography was crossed with that of landscape artist Edward Burtynsky, with super-sweet doses of time-lapse photography thrown in for good measure. The Sherpas, whose track record basically is only one film – an innovative avy educational video called The Fine Line – obviously are driven beyond the usual ski porn and into the realm of creating a higher message about the environmental future of the Earth. After viewing the teaser, I have only three comments: 1) don’t be afraid to make the movie too short – it doesn’t need to be 75 minutes long or whatever – even half that length will do just fine – 2) keep the athlete commentary to a minimum – big mountain landscapes render even the most articulate writers speechless, so let the images carry the show and 3) pay the money to get some top flight Canadian bands in there on the soundtrack – Plants & Animals, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Joel Plaskett… hell, even some Gordon Downie Jr. Or even under the radar bands like Said the Whale and Rural Alberta Advantage. Well, today’s blog is over.  Gotta watch that teaser, again.