At the drop of the first leaves of fall (that’s autumn to you Brits) skiers start to get an indefinable itch. Maybe twitch would better describe it. As the cooler evenings and longer nights begin to let the first frosts settle; a million homes around the world begin to dig into the dusty pile of DVDs and vhs cassettes that haven’t seen nightlight since the previous March (or September if you’re in the Antipodes). What is it, that starts this restless rummaging? It’s nothing less than the approach of the next ski season.
As outdoor temperatures plummet and air conditioning gives way to central heating, skiers around the globe start to rerun the old videos and get the juices flowing in anticipation of the coming winter of sport. This annual twitch, allied with a little bit of shrewd marketing from sponsoring gear manufacturers and resorts, has seen an impressive industry dedicated to producing cutting edge ski movies develop.
There are several major players here. All of those in the USA seem to carry the western macho swagger; whether it’s the “reformed hippies” of Teton Gravity Research, the slightly off the wall Matchstick Productions, the overtly red neck Powderwhores or the understated Poor Boyz! They all have a similar mission: to produce the year’s best ski film. Something that will draw in the masses of snow addicts to drool at the latest Alaskan powder fest or gnarly La Grave outing.
The giants from the USA however do not have the whole field to themselves. If you have the twitch bad and you are tired of the same old DVD that you’ve watched for the last 3 years: and you just can’t wait for the latest crop to arrive in the post, then take a chance – go for pot luck on YouTube. It is quite incredible the volume of ski movies that you can find there now. As with all YouTube themes there is a huge crop of rubbish, but if you hunt about for a little while and just fiddle with the search terms you use, you will find gems amongst the dross.
In Europe, Candide Kamera has the entire Alps in its backyard. There is no better setting for ski movies than the birthplace of the mass market sport of skiing. The Candide crew have actually put together something far more meaningful than “The Way I See It” can ever be. Just search for Candide Kamera!
In general there is a serious overdose of tricks on staircases and rails set to heavy, heavy music but you can find regular gems like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaxHtwgSmPE. Even though it’s in French, the visuals cross language barriers very easily. Watch out for the avalanche in the middle, it puts gnarly big mountain skiing back into non glamorous context.
Alternatively Vimeo is another source of great ski footage. One example is a series of 3 videos that feature Gulmarg in Kashmir, La Grave in France and Freshfield icefield in Canada. These short ski movies are absolutely beautifully filmed and in some ways, put the high octane massively publicised new releases to shame. You can find them under the roup title of “A Skier’s Journey”
All in all, there are no excuses for not scratching the itch! Come to Ski Movies dot com where I am starting to build up a collection of superb clips tocure that itch for good!