Ski Porn That Might Just Save Some Lives (Giveaway, too)

avalanche

Avalanche. Photo from Wikipedia.

braveskimom logoIt’s fall. That means it’s ski movie time, the time when film companies release their latest flicks, opening them to fanfare in cities and ski towns and hawking DVDs to those of us in the hinterlands.

The obsession began when the boys were little and first discovered Warren Miller films. 

Now, as teenagers, they’ve branched out and it’s all about Matchstick, Poor Boyz, TGR and more. It’s all about amazing athletes skiing impossible lines in the world’s most exotic winter locations.

It’s all about ski porn.

The Fine Line

Knowing our family’s weakness for ski films, I bought a DVD last year from the Canadian Avalanche Foundation. Billed as a “16mm Avalanche Education Film,” I knew it might be a hard sell to get my kids to watch it.

The Fine Line

Image courtesy Sherpas Cinema.

My sons, like most of us, watch ski movies for pleasure and inspiration, not for enlightenment.

Still, I was intrigued with what I had read on a friend’s website:

the film tricks kids into learning the basics of avalanche safety by disguising “education” as an extreme ski/snowboard movie.

The timing seemed perfect. Avalanche danger was at the front of my mind, with conditions in the Colorado mountains claiming the lives of very experienced backcountry travelers.

So I bought it. No one watched it. It didn’t trick anyone.

While The Fine Line may have won numerous awards, including Best Concept at the 2009 Powder Video Awards, it was still “educational.”

Ski porn, it clearly couldn’t be, right?

Finally last week, I tore the plastic wrap off of The Fine Line and popped it in.

We were impressed.

Mixing It Up

There’s always a fine line (sorry!) between educating and entertaining so even I was a bit skeptical about whether this film could keep me, let alone my kids, engaged.

Although the film starts slowly, it amps up through some weird giggly girl animation sequences into a bizarre, yet creative, history of the world that culminates in the development of heli-skiing, and then suddenly lots and lots of solid, intense big mountain skiing and riding.

There are also a lot of avalanches and a good indie soundtrack.

The Fine Line: Official Film Teaser from Sherpas Cinema on Vimeo.

Filmed Inspiration

The premise of The Fine Line is that ski movies play a big role in inspiring us, especially teenagers and young adults, to venture into the backcountry and to push the limits of snowsports.

This film is no different. Watching athletes like Tanner Hall, Sean Pettit, Shin Campos and more ski and ride on some mighty fine lines makes me want to click in and jump off a mountain, carving perfect turns in deep pow.

And that’s a good thing.

What’s different about The Fine Line is that in addition to showing plenty of amazing skiing on wicked lines, there’s an honest discussion with athletes, film producers, avalanche survivors and safety experts about backcountry risk and responsibility.

The film is never overbearing or boring. It’s not at all preachy. No one suggests that you stay out of the mountains, they just strongly suggest you know what you’re doing before you go in.

In the end, we were tricked. We learned a lot and we enjoyed almost every minute.

The Fine Line is available from the Canadian Avalanche Foundation and Amazon.com. In addition to a one-hour feature film, there are four short training films: Understanding Avalanche Bulletins, Choosing Terrain, Predicting Avalanches and Emergency Self Rescue.

You can also watch it on YouTube and iTunes.

From Skis to (Hiking) Boots

pacific crest trail film

Image courtesy Tell It On The Mountain: Tales from The Pacific Crest Trail.

From extreme skiing to extreme hiking: here’s a hearty shout out to another film, Tell It On the Mountain: Tales from the Pacific Crest Trail. This two-hour documentary follows several through-hikers on America’s most beautiful and difficult long-distance trail.

Could you hike 2,663 miles from Mexico to Canada, through the scorching California desert, the snowbound High Sierra, rainy Oregon and even rainier Washington? I don’t think I could. But still, I was entertained watching other people attempt it. Walking through pain, suffering and incredible beauty, hiking the PCT clearly becomes an addiction.

I have no desire to walk the entire trail, but a portion? That I might try. If you’re a hiker or backpacker, check out this DVD. If there’s such a thing as hiking porn, this is it.

DVD Giveaway

tell it on the mountain tales from the pacific crest trailShaun Carrigan, the producer of Tell It On the Mountain, has graciously donated a DVD for a giveaway. Please leave a comment for a chance to win.

One winner will be chosen in a random drawing on November 6th.

Good luck!

To facilitate this post, I received a DVD of Tell It On the Mountain. As always, all opinions are my own and are exactly what I would tell my family and friends.

Want More? 

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Amber!

 

 

© 2013 – 2014, Kristen Lummis. All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.

Comments

  1. says

    All sound awesome! Like you, I have no desire to do the PCT but am moderately obsessed with doing the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. :)

    • says

      Vancouver Island sounds like a perfect length of land for me. PLUS, there is nowhere on the planet with better, fresher food. Lucky Canadians, they’ve got it all!

  2. says

    I’ve heard good things about this movie. I’ve hiked several portions of the PCT, since it’s practically in my backyard. I’d love to hike the Oregon and Washington sections of the PCT. Maybe when I retire…..

    • says

      You will love this movie Linda! It’s really good. Each hiker has an amazing story, and they’re not all super human athletes either. If you’ve got a beautiful photo of the PCT in your neighoborhood, please share it!

      And check out The Fine Line. It’s not Blizzard of Aaahs, but I think you’ll find it very interesting and entertaining!

      Cheers!