It doesn't take much for Whistlerites to stop looking back at a receding August and start getting pumped for a looming ski season. A dusting of snow on Wedge and the screening of a boss snowboard film like Curt Morgan's The Art of FLIGHT are reasons enough to dig out the wax, the iron and the heaps of cheesy smelling long johns from last year's season.
Like most snowboard docs, Art of FLIGHT follows a crew of experienced snowboarders around the planet as they target plumb lines in mostly unheard of mountain ranges.
"Let's go get tons of fuel and go here," says a serious-faced Morgan in the movie, jabbing his finger at a map of random mountains, prompting a skeptical reply from a crewmate, "What planet the fuck are you from?"
That'd be Planet Veracious, yo. Backed primarily by Red Bull, the usual suspect when it comes to pairing treacherous with talent, the Art of Flight addresses the whole "it's not the destination, it's the journey" cliché head on by owning both. It follows pros Travis Rice, John Jackson, Mark Landvik, Scotty Lago, Jake Blauvelt, Nicolas Muller, Gigi Ruf, DCP and Pat Moore as they "dream up new global adventures and progress the sport of snowboarding to unimaginable levels."
The point? To hit virgin lines in the mountains of Canada, Patagonia, Alaska, Romania, Wyoming and Austria, even when local helicopter guides advise against it. Even when avalanches rip through bowls kilometres wide. Even when gravity is not a friend.
"Five, four, three, two drop," says a scratchy radio voice recorded by the helmet camera worn by athlete John Jackson as he tips his board off an impossibly steep peak and starts carving through snow that barely clings to a 90 degree face. He makes it down the precarious slope, shaky breath recorded as he slides to safety with a resounding "whoohoo, that's a party...what a party." Fear and elation - inextricably linked. The fodder for all good extreme sports movies.
Flow was Here
Whistler snowboarding production house Sandbox Snowboarding is showcasing its two latest movies, Flow was Here and Day and Age on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Millennium Place. $10 gets you both movies, which feature local talent, terrain and secret stashes.
"We've used helicopters a lot before in the backcountry and on big park shoots and this is huge for a smaller company like ours," said Sandbox co-owner, Kevin Sansalone of Day and Age . "But we took urban filming and helicopters to a new level this year by bringing a mini heli out into the streets with us - (we have) never before seen heli urban riding footage. This gave us a new look at urban riding and the surroundings of these city locations."
Though their previous movies have been released to great success, Sansalone is happy with his company's progress and the development of his riders.
"The biggest improvement in our film for me is that we have more big mountain riding this year. Not just backcountry jumps, I'm talking big lines with big exposure," he said. "Dave Short, North Face and Jones Snowboards' rider kills the big lines. Also, Andrew Hardingham is back after over a year off due to a major injury. He kills the big lines and 90 per cent of his part is shot from the heli. I feel we are now truly a full spectrum snowboard film company comparable to our good friends and mentors at Absinthe. However, I feel we still have a faster paced more youthful video than maybe Absinthe has."
Packed with names like Scot Brown, Scotty Lago, Tim Humphreys and Sarka Pancochova, these films will sell out fast.
Tickets available at Millennium Place, http://www.artswhistler.com . Each ticket will get its owner a free drink at Garfinkel's for the after party.