Let’s face it. Many ski movies don’t have a lot of depth. Sure, we get pow shots, cliff drops, and soul-bro pontificating on things best left unexplained, like pillow lines. But missing is a discussion of issues affecting skiing and the cutting edge of ski exploration. These four ski documentaries could be a welcome remedy.
Australis: An Antarctic Ski Adventure, May 2010
Antarctica is hard to reach. That’s part of the appeal for pro skier Chris Davenport, who decided to make things even more difficult (but green) by sailing there in a 75-foot yacht. Davenport, a film crew, and fellow skiers Stian Hagen and Andrea Binning will document a series of first descents in the Antarctic Peninsula. Says Davenport, after a brief 2008 Antarctica trip, “I really want to open people’s eyes to the possibilities here.”
The Kyrgyzstan Plan, fall 2010
Foreign investors are slowly developing Kyrgyzstan’s Tien Shan Mountains—home to 22,000-foot summits. But locals haven’t yet fit into that growth. Inspired by the cultural development nonprofit Vista 360, Ryan Koupal and three other Coloradans are developing a hut-to-hut/homestay ski tour in conjunction with a local tourism association. The documentary follows their efforts and includes ample ski footage to “get people amped on the potential here,” as Koupal says.
The Kashmir Project, fall 2010
Director Anthony Bonello traveled to Kashmir last year and got hooked on the ski scene in Gulmarg. This Himalayan resort was once a major tourist attraction, but when fighting broke out between India and Pakistan in the ’80s, tourism evaporated. Bonello, who is also an editor at large at Biglines.com, says the goal of the project is to “dispel some of the stigma that Kashmir is a dangerous place to travel and highlight just how incredible the skiing is.”
Generations, now available
Generations, a Teton Gravity Research film made in partnership with Protect Our Winters, focuses on how climate change affects the way we use winter. The idea, initially proposed by The North Face, was to light a fire under the asses of those idling in I-70 traffic for turns at Vail. It’s (yet more) condemnation of the internal-combustion engine, punctuated with enough ski footage to keep you interested.