Life on the Mountain
Why do we like ski movies? Why do we as a culture (more specifically, a ski culture), gather together each fall in crowded theaters or outdoor bars and watch image after image of better skiers than ourselves ski lines in places we will probably never go? Why do we torture ourselves?
I have no idea. But every year, there we are. Hooting and hollering at the best lines, laughing at some pretty epic falls, and especially cheering on the skiers we know, the places we have been, and luckily for us here, our very own mountain.
This weekend Sun Valley Company hosted their second annual, “Gathering: A Film and Music Festival”. The brainchild of Mike Fitzpatrick and Brian Callahan, the weekend featured amateur filmmakers, local musicians, meet-and-greets, world famous reggae bands from Jamaica (courtesy of Marley in the Mountains), and of course, ski films.
The Gathering hosted a slew of films with exciting and inevitable, pump-you-up content. These films included Snowboarder Mag, Teton Gravity Research (TGR), Smith Optics and Mark Oliver, Level 1, Tanner Hall and Inspired Media, Burton, 4bi9 Media and Sammy Carlson. But for skiers, boarders, and ski film fans from the Sun Valley area, there was more to cheer about than just sick lines and deep powder.
Former Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) athlete and local kid, Griffin Post was on-hand to celebrate his segment in this year’s TGR film, “One for the Road.” Powder Magazine called Griffin’s rookie performance one of the best in the film and the crowd at Apple’s Friday night definitely agreed. Griffin’s truck, with its recognizable 5B license plate, even made a cameo in the TGR film.
Smith Optics’ second installation of “Prospecting Idaho”, shot entirely at their private backcountry park near Smiley Creek, also featured tons of local athletes who held their own in the deep Idaho powder. Riders like Spencer Cordavano, Pat Lee, Wyatt Caldwell, and filmmaker Mark Oliver, even SVSEF Snowboard coach Andy Gilbert and a few of his grommets made an appearance.
Another former SVSEF superstar, Collin Collins also made his big screen debut in 4bi9 Media’s “Begging for Change.” (And yes, I said superstar. I overheard a group of ten-year olds squeal as Collin walked by. Turning to ask me, “Was that Collin Collins?”)
And last, but certainly not least, was Level 1’s “After Dark” with shot after shot of something even more recognizable to locals… our very own Dollar Mountain. Each time the huge jumps, built with the bright blue features came into view, the crowd cheered. Stoked to see our own hill on the big screen. When Josh Berman, the man behind the curtain at Level 1, introduced his film to the crowd at the Sun Valley Opera House, he gave props to Sun Valley for creating two of the biggest jumps “he had ever seen.”
So this year Sun Valley had a lot to cheer about at the Gathering. What will next year bring? Will we see Griffin and Collin again? What about Dollar? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure. We will all be there again next year, getting stoked on the ski season with a few more ski flicks.
All photography by Erik Seo, courtesy Sun Valley Company.