Kruk, Kennedy Close Out VIMFF, Revelstoke’s On Sale Next Month, Oldies But Goodies from Mount Seymour

Starting to sound like a broken record, here, but the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival truly is killing it when it comes to high quality visual and oral presentations. Last night’s Ski Night featured three filmmakers who were all in attendance. In Solitaire, Nick Waggoner of Sweetgrass Productions took us to a vast array of South American time/landscapes. Set to a terrific soundtrack that includes performance by Fleet Foxes and excerpts from Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness. (It actually works beautifully – trust me on this one!) Definitely a movie you want to see more than once, to catch all of its nuances. Next up, Mike Douglas’s Freedom Chair (see last item, below) about sit-skier Josh Dueck, and Dendrite Studios Parallels (a winning entry in the 2011 Innervisions video festival) presented strong story-telling and visuals, respectively. The night ended up with a ‘short cut’ version of Sherpas Cinemas All.I.Can., including JP Auclair’s jib-tastic tour of Trail, BC.

The same show repeats tonight at the Denman Theatre at 7:30.

Tomorrow night’s grand finale features the first North American appearance of Jason Kruk and Hayden Kennedy, who ascended Cerro Torre in Patagonia and then – controversially – removed over 125 iron bolts that had been drilled into the rock (via a compressor, hence the name ‘Compressor Route’). Go to Outside Online,, and even Guardian UK for a variety of viewpoints on this event!

The Whistler Virus:

Whistler Blackcomb keeps periodically releasing these viral videos. Not sure what the tech specs are, here, but Timebender, courtesy of Switchback Entertainment, looks like it was filmed on one of those fancy Phantom still cameras which snaps images at a mind boggling 1,000 frames per second, which allows a ‘super slow-motion’ effect to many of the action shots. Powder seekers with ADD will be rewarded at about the 2:30 mark with deep snow footage that likely wasn’t shot in the past week. More snow’s on the way for this weekend, though. The time-lapse images are cool, indeed.

North Shore History Lesson:

Here’s an internet sensation, which I found out about through Sandbox Helmets founder Kevin Sansalone. Eminent snowboard photographer Scott Serfas has just released a series of photos from early snowboarding days on Vancouver’s North Shore. Serfas, who shares studio space with Endeavor snowboards and Airhole bandanas down by the old BC Sugar refinery, boasts hundreds of cover photos from the early 90s, in magazines well known (Transworld, SBC Snowboard Canada), and obscure. There’s little doubt that he’s milked those big Mount Seymour views for all he can in the past two decades of shooting up there.

Secret Stash:

Did you know that Whistler-Blackcomb offers free avalanche awareness tours? Did you know there’s even an Avalanche Awareness Centre, at the top of Solar Coaster? Well, now you do. These free half-day tours are run by the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Patrol and cover safe travel, terrain evaluation, avalanche phenomena, control measures within the ski area, avalanche safety equipment (participants can use shovels, avalanche transceiver, probes etc.) and even rescue techniques.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort – Deal of the Week

Vancouver hotelier Tom Gagliardi’s purchase of the Sutton Place flag has resulted in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s Nelsen Lodge being re-branded as a Sutton Place Hotel. Offering the ultimate in slopeside comfort and convenience, the Sutton Place is putting on a March White Sale.  Ski and Stay Packages start at just $165.00 per person per night based on double occupancy, two night minimum. Each paying adult will receive a lift ticket to Revelstoke Mountain Resort (1 Day for each night booked), a ticket to the Turtle Creek Tube Park, and a $15.00 gift card to the Rockford wok|bar|grill. An even cheaper deal is being offered at the Sandman Revelstoke Inn, located right in the funkiest, rockin’ little town in BC!

Sit Down and Watch This One:

If you haven’t viewed Josh Dueck’s sit-ski back flip on YouTube, yet (apparently, 645,000 people have), you might have caught him being interviewed on either Canada AM or the Ellen DeGeneres show earlier this week. Salomon Freeski producer and Freedom Chair filmmaker Mike Douglas told me that “agents have been knocking, this could help set Josh up for life.” Dueck, who works as a motivational speaker, has been overwhelmed by the response to an event that only took place a couple of weeks ago. Every week, a new internet hero!


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