Archive for October, 2011

MSP’s Attack of La Nina – A BC Postcard

October 12, 2011

Attack of La Nina: The Bitch is Back

With snow falling throughout the western States last week, the stoke-meter is truly at the redline for the coming season. On Saturday, Matchstick Productions celebrated the Squaw Valley premiere of Attack of La Nina: The Bitch is Back, which, as skiers and snowboarders who got first tracks at Wolf Creek over the weekend might tell you, is actually already here for round two.

MSP might be based in Colorado and tied into resorts like Alyeska, Aspen, and Stevens Pass for its park segments, but La Nina was all about HUGE snowfalls, especially in British Columbia. Though Tourism BC didn’t sponsor it, Attack of La Nina is a veritable travelogue across the province, starting in Whistler and hitting backcountry spots in Bralorne, Revelstoke,(inbounds, and at Golden Alpine Holidays Esplanade Lodge) the Selkirks (Selkirk Wilderness), Rockies (Chatter Creek), Terrace (Northern Escape Heli), and circling back to the Coast Range for a stunner of segment recorded at – huge kudos for whoever came up with this idea – a ‘tent camp’ based out of the Meager Creek Hot Springs for fifteen days, with private heli at the skiers’ disposal.

Now, how sweet is that?

Interesting how there’s a cross pollination of ideas from one filmmaker to the next. The slow-mo time lapse images and melting/dripping snow that made up a lot of Sherpa’s visuals are mimicked here by the MSP crew who are saying “well, we can do that atmospheric stuff, too, guys, but here are the skiers…”

Indeed, here they are – the true superstars of the sport – Bobby Brown, Torin Yater-Wallace, Gus Kenworthy on the big air, slopestyle side, and in the big mountains, veteran BC skiers James Heim, Eric Hjorleifson, Callum and Sean Pettit, and Rory Bushfield truly put the ‘eh’ in ‘A-Game.’

Those who might have complained about the lack of action in All.I.Can. will have more than their fill, here. Can Hoji ski anything steeper? (and score awesome POV footage in the process) Can Abma make it through the season without blowing his knee? Can anyone possibly top Sean Pettit’s for sheer flow and creativity?

And… there’s even humor, too. This time around Colby James West (thanks to some hilarious computer animation) actually puts together a truly knee-slappin’ routine worthy of a Saturday Night Live sketch.

The music, as always, rocks furiously—kicked off by some clever animation and the Hollies’ Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress (a song I used to actually wait to hear on AM radio, pre Pandora days). The show’s finale was a mind boggling BC Coast Range super-segment with legendary Vancouver band Black Mountain cranking out Let Spirits Ride as chutes get shralped, spines are shredded, and airs are landed. Man, those rockered skis have sure upp’d the ante when it comes to how fast and smooth guys (and Ingrid Backstrom) are rippin’ it in the backcountry.

Let Spirits Ride, indeed… Anyone up for a La Nina III sequel, next season?