Across The Globe
We caught up with Warren Miller skier Colby James West to hear what he had to say about jumping out of helicopters at South America’s most renowned ski resort, Ski Portillo in Chile.
As summertime fun-in-the-sun is being had here in the states, it's been dumping snow at Ski Portillo in Chile - over a foot in the last week. This is good reason to offer a sneak peak at our Portillo segment in this year's film, "Warren Miller's . . . Like There's No Tomorrow", starring comedic freeskier Colby West. We caught up with Colby while he was with his friends playing football on the beach in California. Here's what he had to say. Also, click here to see photos from the segment.
What can we expect from your Ski Portillo segment in the upcoming movie?
It’s a lot of my point of view. When I first started skiing I lived in my car, so that’s where it starts out, and then it moves into my ski life from there. You will see some stunts— it’s all about having a good time.
Who did you film with at Portillo?
The whole Spyder team— rippers like Julia Mancuso, Roz Groenewoud, Steven Nyman, Jess McMillian, Daron Rahlves, Julian Carr, and Chris Davenport.
What was your favorite part about filming for this movie?
Probably when I got to jump out of the helicopter into the swimming pool.
Why did you do that?
It goes with a skit that we made for the film. You’ll have to watch the movie to see.
What are your plans for the rest of the summer?
I’ll hang out in LA for the X-Games, then I head down to NZ with the Spyder team to do a contest down there.
What are your plans for next winter?
I want to do a bunch of contests, film with Warren Miller again hopefully, and try to make the most out of all the opportunities that I have to go ski everywhere.
Are you still doing voice overs?
Yes, I did a bunch down here in LA, and I will continue to do voice overs. Once my body is pissed off at me for beating it up all the time, hopefully my voice will still be intact.
If you're looking to escape the heat of summer there is still availability at Ski Portillo for this summer. A Saturday to Saturday ski week in Portillo includes seven nights lodging, four meals per day, lift tickets, and access to a multitude of indoor hotel activities. There is still availability for the ski week starting Aug 27, 2011. For information or to book a vacation to Portillo, call 1.800.829.5325, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on Ski Portillo is available at www.SkiPortillo.com.
Director of Photography, Chris Patterson, gives a behind the scenes look at the filming of Warren Miller's 62nd film... Like There's No Tomorrow.
Director of Photography, Chris Patterson, gives a behind the scenes look as a mob of 100 curious Kashmiri locals create a scene in Gulmarg.
Tyler Ceccanti ripping some of "the best runs of his life" with Andy Mahre and the CMH crew
Tyler Ceccanti ripping some of "the best runs of his life" with Andy Mahre and the CMH crew. Super deep powder, pillows and epic tree runs make up this sneak peek of what is to come in our 62nd film.
For only the third time since 1970, Squaw Valley USA boasts a 50’ season snowfall total
[Squaw Valley USA] March 22, 2011 – In the midst of an incredible, two-week snowstorm, Squaw Valley USA has reached 50 feet for this season’s snowfall total. The 50 foot benchmark has only been reached three times since 1970 and never before April. Squaw Valley USA has received well over 100” of snow in the last week alone, and skiers and riders are reporting incredible, chest-deep powder on the mountain. With over a month and a half remaining in Squaw Valley’s 2010-11 winter season, the new snow is setting the Lake Tahoe resort up for a truly phenomenal spring skiing season.
Squaw Valley received 10 feet of snow in the last 5 days, bringing the season's snowfall totals to 50 feet or 600 inches. Snow is predicted to fall at the Lake Tahoe resort through Sunday, March 27 with more snow slated to fall into early April.
With a current base of 250” and more snow on the way, Squaw Valley USA is slated to have a phenomenal spring skiing season. Ranked one of the Top 5 Spring Skiing destinations in North America by The New York Times, Squaw Valley offers a mountaintop pool and hot tub overlooking the Sierra, incredible spring snow conditions and one of the longest ski seasons in the country. Skiers and riders can take full advantage of all the spring has to offer with a $199 Spring Pass valid 7 days a week from April 11 through May 8, 2011 including free spring access to the High Camp pool and hot tub, el. 8200’, and free summer Cable Car access. Spring passes are on sale now at www.squaw.com.
Squaw Valley offers Lake Tahoe’s longest winter season with a scheduled closing date of May 8, 2011.
For more information, conditions updates, lodging packages, and event details, call (530) 583-6985, or visit www.squaw.com.
"I'm used to downhill, but this powder thing is pretty fun!"
As we're filming for next season's movie we headed out to Vail to shoot Lindsey Vonn. Turns out it was a powder day. Enjoy the footage!
Chris Davenport and Stian Hagen have been up in Alaska for the last two weeks filming for this fall's movie. Take a look at their notes, photos, and video from the trip.
From Chris Davenport:
Hi Everyone, I have been up here in Girdwood, Alaska for the last two weeks filming for next fall's Warren Miller movie and it has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride. We had some good film days to start the trip off but then got shut down by weather for 5 days in a row. Fortunately luck was on our side and Mother Nature was kind as we just absolutely killed it yesterday out in the Chugach Mountains with some perfect snow and steep lines. Stian Hagen and I are the skiers, Chris Patterson the cameraman, and Tom Evans the photographer. Big shout out to our safety guides Rob Durny and Brad Cosgrove as well.
Enjoy the photos here in the Gallery!
- Chris Davenport
From Stian Hagen:
Wow! I just had one of my best days of heli skiing yesterday! We had a pretty tough start to the trip, lots of down days, and on the days we actually got out we were dealing with some very unstable snow conditions. Down days have been pretty good here in Girdwood as we have had the resort to ski, and also done some cat skiing. Unstable snow in Ak is a very frightening prospect as a lot of the lines have major exposure, the first day we set of a couple of slides, and then we had a few more days of snow. The next time we went out we saw a lot of natural avalanche activity in the terrain, and it also got really warm. We skied some smaller lines, but stayed away from the really good stuff. The weather report looked pretty bad for the next 5 days, but miraculously yesterday morning was clear. We headed out to a zone called Spinecell. The coolest zone i have ever seen or skied! Spine after spine after spine in perfect snow!
Here is a little edit of the footage Chris and I got from Ak. All the riding/action shots are shot on the GoPro HD and Chris Canon S90, pocket digital camera, so don’t try to look at this on a 60″ plasma screen!
I hope you enjoy it!
- Stian Hagen
This is going to look spectacular on a 40 foot screen!
Notes written by Mark Piquette.
The crew woke up at Canadian Mountain Holidays to clouds and light snow on the first day of filming, but it's Canada so that does not mean they were sitting around the lodge waiting for something to break. It was time to head out and do some tree skiing! It was GO from the gun for the skiers. After about a 100 meter warm up ski, Jonny Moseley and Andy Mahre were checking out lines off a cliff band while Chris Patterson, Josh Haskins and Ilja Herb got the cameras set up. That is the tough part for the skiers. Filming sounds fun, and it is, but there is a lot of waiting as the shot is set up. The skiers sometimes have to ski some pretty challenging lines not being totally warmed up or having stood around for awhile. The skiers worked the trees and different pillow lines all day and the film crew got some great footage. Enjoy!
Day two of the shoot with Canadian Mountain Holidays saw a continuation of day one, clouds and snow. The crew knocked out some shooting around the lodge and helicopters while they waited for the light to improve. In the meantime Chris Patterson, Director of Photography for Warren Miller Entertainment, used the steady cam to track Andy Mahre walking out to the helicopter. Once the light came up it was time to load in the helicopter and head back out. The 407 with the cineflex flew out and filmed the 212. Check out the footage to see the 407 flying in front of our crew with the cineflex pointing back towards us. Be sure to see the feature film this fall, because it is going to look spectacular on a 40 foot screen! The CMH guides found some good pillow lines for the Jonny Moseley and Andy Mahre to hit. Most of the lines had never even been skied before! Enjoy the footage of Andy skiing a great series of pillows with the cineflex. He just danced off 5 or 6 pillows and made it look easy! After that, back into the trees for some good footage for the rest of the day. A back flip from Jonny and a corked 540 from Andy will also make for some great shots on the big screen. Enjoy this quick video of highlights from the day.
Blue bird skies, ice bergs as far as the eye can see and stunningly jagged, glaciated peaks make for stunning footage.
From November 1 through November 18, 2009 a camera crew and athletes from Warren Miller Entertainment lived aboard a ship off the coast of Antarctica. They took Zodiacs ashore to climb and ski the southern-most mountains in the world. Two mind blowing days on the peninsula were most memorable. An unusual high pressure system hovered for 48 hours creating two days that the ship captain said were one out of a thousand. The mix of blue bird skies, ices bergs as far as the eye can see and stunningly jagged, glaciated peaks was a visual overload. There was no lack of pretty pictures and it was hard to stop filming. Please enjoy a sneak peak from the footage.
Big-mountain skier Arne Backstrom gets after it at Heavenly for Warren Miller's 61st annual film.
This is a behind the scenes look at a shoot for Warren Miller's upcoming 61st film. Arne Backstrom gets after it at Heavenly while Tom Day, Warren Miller cinematographer, captures it all on film.
Never mind the prevailing wisdom that skiing was invented in Austria or Scandinavia. It was created in western China’s Altai Mountains. The film crew went to meet the living representatives of the oldest ski-bum lineage on earth.
WARREN MILLER CAMERAMAN CHRIS Patterson first heard of an ancient ski culture deep in China’s northwestern frontier on an NPR program while driving around his hometown of Bozeman, Montana, in August of 2008. Documentary filmmaker Nils Larsen of Freeheels.com provided further evidence. Six months later, after discovering at the eleventh hour that visas and guides were available, a crew consisting of myself, Patterson, skiers Chris Anthony and Austin Ross, and cinematographer Colin Witherill found ourselves on the wrong end of horse-drawn sleds heading into the coldest of continental Asia’s winter nights. The notion of a “fun horsey ride” to go skiing somewhere in northwestern China had long evaporated into a somewhat serious case of “It’s dark and I’m freezing, and where the hell are we going?”
What we did know was that the basic geography of the Altai Mountains, a range that runs through Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, and China, would at the very least offer some skiing. We hoped to meet some of the skiers Nils Larsen had filmed, but we weren’t convinced we’d be so lucky. That all became an afterthought once my long johns would hike no higher, my frozen breath iced and covered the back of my camera, and we became concerned for our digits—that’s how cold it was.
Two days later, after a brief stop in a village called Kanas, we came to a farmhouse, the inside of which was lit by a single bulb. A cranking fire kept it warm; a few of the lambs stayed inside and helped maintain the heat. Exhausted, we bunked down and awoke the next day to a fresh foot of the driest powder we’d ever seen.
At the Axiabulak ranch, when the chores are done, the skiing begins. We followed Munke Bayan, the patriarch of Axiabulak, right out the back and through the snow-covered pasture to the bowls behind the ranch. It’s not as if we had to convince him to ski—it’s what he does. The eldest of three brothers who climb and ski these pitches with the aggression of Genghis Khan, from whom they’re likely descended, shredded circles around us on pieces of felled spruce strapped to canvas sneakers with rawhide thongs.
Word of our visit spread through the valley. Within a few days, several of the area’s best rippers came to show off for the cameras with airs, face shots, and straightlines. Kodak courage is universal: It’s an impulse felt by the entire world.