As we patiently await the long arrival of winter, there are a couple things we need to do. We need to gather up our gear, pray to the snow gods, and cozy up next to our laptops to watch ski movies that up our stoke factor.
Here is a list of ten snow movies that I think should be seen at the beginning of every season, whether you’ve seen them or not. I use the term “ski” movies loosely because some of these are snowboard movies as well. And GOOD NEWS some of these movies are free online, so what are you waiting for? Get that stoke on.
10. Higher (2014) – Teton Gravity Research
Watch on Netflix
The best film of the Deeper, Further, Higher trilogy in my opinion. Jeremy Jones leaves behind his sponsors and produces THIS epic adventure. I’ll give props to this piece for featuring one of the prettiest mountains on film (Shangri-la near Everest) Watch Jones conquer not only one mountain, but some of the gnarliest lines as well. Get inspired to explore the backcountry with this one.
9. Art of Flight (2011) – Red Bull Media House
I’m not sure how sound the link is on this one. If it’s faulty, go out and buy the movie on itunes, seriously. This is one of the first snow stoke films I saw and the pioneer of the “Redbull” style films with slo-mo EVERYTHING. Watch Travis Rice represent in this hour and a half long event. Every single shot in this film is beautiful, but if you’re a tree-hugging skier you might not like what those snowboard hooligans get up to.
8. Blizzard of Aahhhs (1988) – Greg Stump Productions
Before this film, extreme skiing didn’t exist. This is one of the films that inspired a ski movement and MUST be seen at least at the beginning of every ski season. Greg Stump, and Glenn Plake, two extreme skiing pioneers turn it UP in this rockumentary style film. Take a step back to look at extreme skiing’s humble beginnings and some of the characters who created it.
7. Pretty Faces (2015) – Unicorn Picnic
Check your pockets, and dig into your couch to find loose change to BUY this one, you wont regret it. One of the first all female ski films, Lyndsey Dyer hosts a bunch of women who are hard chargers in the ski industry. I don’t think I could have been more excited for this one to come out, following it from it’s crowd-funding days. Lynsey Dyer is one of my idols in the ski industry and I was fortunate enough to see her talk at a conference in Whistler last season, where she recounted her humble beginnings. She, like many other women, have worked so hard to achieve their status in the industry.
Watch this film! And check out her charity, SHE JUMPS, a charity to inspire young women to participate in outdoor sports.
6. Valhalla (2013) – Sweetgrass Productions
I spent years talking about the naked ski segment that had popped up on youtube and was mass shared through every piece of social media imagined. What I didn’t understand was that I SHOULD have bought the full movie a long time ago. This movie has the BEST powder segments AND a beautiful underlying story. Rumoured to be on Netflix, I checked, not to find it on the Canadian version. So go, buy it. Or watch the naked ski segment over and over again. The choice is yours.
5. All I Can (2011) – Sherpas Cinema
I remember being super HYPED to see this one in theatres, which made the experience all that more exciting. Famous for JP Auclair’s street segment, this film is one that needs to be watched at the beginning of each season to commemorate one of the greats who we most unfortunately lost.
4. GNAR – The Movie – Unofficial Networks
Do I have to explain why? ALWAYS refresh yourself on the rules of the game at the beginning of each season. You’ve got a skiing GAME created by another one of our greats, Shane McConkey, in Squaw Valley. But remember: “I’m the best skier on the mountain”
3. Teddy Bear Crisis (2005) – Teddy Bear Crisis
Back in the day when MTV was the ultimate hub of activity, this little film came out in true MTV form. TBC is an unreal freeride film, including a young baby face Tanner Hall. Famous for the gnarley T. Hall incident at Chad’s gap, this one is a well rounded film that makes you question the tv antics of the early 2000s but appreciate one of the “firsts” that made ski films into what they are today.
2. BE Inspired (2016) – Inspired Media
I’m not even going to pretend that I know what the names of the tricks these crazy kids were up to in this one. But wow, just wow. If you want to BE Inspired in the park then watch this. And also, definitely should not go with out notice, the custom sound track made especially for this film that will be in our ears on the hill this season.
1. Ring The Alarm (2016) – Inspired Media
From the moment the sound waves hit you, there’s not turning away. I just want to say that Inspired Media has really got me this year. I’ve watched this film on repeat since it came out. After all, it’s got free skiing, park, cat skiing, massive backcountry jumps and even T. Hall sending it around a hot wheel’s inspired ski loop. This one wins for not only the soundtrack, but also footage. I’m just waiting for someone to put a list of it together on itunes so I can download it to my listening device. Although it has received some flack for the first person avy footage, it was gnarly to see, and of course should be taken with caution. But we know T. Hall can handle it. So go, watch this one while it’s still there!
The Fourth Phase (2016) – Redbull Media House
I was there when it premiered on Redbull TV. A little sad because of the buffering, but none the less stoked to see a movie making waves in ski culture. It explores weather currents as Travis Rice follows snow around the world to see some of the untouched mountains. What was different was the apparent challenges that arose throughout, proving that filming a GOOD ski film is not always easy to achieve both from the athlete’s perspective and filmmaker’s. Kudos to Travis for wanting to explore alternative ski films, with a story.
Guilt Trip (2016) – Salomon TV
Although I thought this movie was going to actually do what the title said, it brought a very important issue to light without making me tear up. Climate change is a hot topic (the puns in this one, I swear) and I loved the motley crew of characters that went to explore how climate change is effecting one of the largest ice masses in the world, Greenland. It had me laughing at times, and questioning why we aren’t switching to alternate sources of renewable energy in others. Learning about different testing methods and seeing first hand how climate change is affecting the world is a smart move on Salomon’s part. Thank you for this one.