Athletes

Lynsey Dyer on Skiing in Kashmir

Lynsey Dyer dishes on machine guns, deep powder, and the disputed India/Pakistan border.

I have been to India twice before. I skied in the Himalya, and earlier last fall I was there for a volunteering trip, working with kids rescued from the slave trade. We brought them bicycles and taught them them how to maintain them. That trip helped inspire this trip.

Kasmiri’s are very harsh-looking, and Americans are taught to be afraid of them. But they all begged us to take a photo with them. Everyone asks “One photo, one photo!”

I was surprised at how welcomed we were—even more welcomed than my last Warren Miller shoot at Crested Butte. In Colorado, many of the locals were annoyed because we had to shut down their terrain. The Kashmiri’s were very sweet and excited to have us.

These guys drove by in an armed vehicle, with guns on top. Just ahead of us they stopped and started climbing out of the roof with guns in their hands, all ten of them. I put my camera away, thinking, “oh no, are we in trouble?” but they just wanted a picture.

It was epic terrain. There’s so much that’s untapped there. Also, this was the first year of the heli operation in Gulmarg, so everything was a first descent, and the conditions and snow stability were perfect. We found steep rocky airs, chutes, couloirs, and everything in between. The mountain range was so unique: like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and the possibilities were endless.

On the down days, I took a lot of photos, was drawing a lot, I played with the kids, and hiked around in the snow. We were really waiting for the opportunity for a good day to ski, so we didn’t go far from the village.

We skied this first descent at over 5,000 meters. The only way we knew how high we were was when the pilot very casually put on an oxygen mask. We were like, “Where’s ours?”

At the top of one of our lines, we were skiing across the disputed border of Pakistan and India. It was really cool to be that high in the mountains, and that we were given such freedom.

Ski Portillo and Colby West Featured in ". . . Like There's No Tomorrow"

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 reservas@skiportillo.com. More information on Ski Portillo is available at www.SkiPortillo.com.

Five Minute Interview: Leo Ahrens

Youngster Leo Ahrens is making quite the name for himself. The teenager has been featured in Powder Magazine’s The Draft, and he spent his winter skiing everywhere from his hometown in Utah to South America. We snagged him while in La Parva, Chile participating in the Eye of the Condor contest. Here’s what he had to say about his future goals, school, and filming with Warren Miller.

Is this your first time filming with WME?

Indeed.

What other athletes did you film with?

We had a solid crew. Sammy Cohen, Carlo Taverelli, Ben Wheeler, and Brant Moles.

What were the conditions like?

They were so good! It’s Utah, what else would you expect?!

What was your favorite part about this experience?

Working with (cameraman) Tom Day was awesome. It was really cool to have such a high-tech camera to work with, and the guy who knows how to  use it.

What should we look for in your segment?

I'm hoping the segment is a mix of all of us throwing down together!

You’re only 18. What are your goals for the future?

I've actually been thinking about that a lot lately. I want to bring something new and fresh to the ski industry. Going beyond just being a good skier is important to me—I want to be a part of the film production and push for cool new contests and events.

You just graduated high school. What’s that feel like?

I graduated this past fall and now I'm dedicated to traveling for a while. It’s looking like I'm going to take a year off before I sit down in a desk again.

Do you think you will film with WME again?

If I had the opportunity, I would be stoked!

What are your plans for the rest of the summer/next winter?

I'm down in South America right now for the summer skiing and surfing. I'll be competing in a couple competitions down here and traveling all over Chile and Argentina. I have a lot of big plans for next winter but you'll just have to wait to see!

 

To see photos from Leo's shoot, see the full photo gallery here.

Catching up with Tim Durtschi

Tim Durtschi is recovering from knee surgery, but he answered some questions about filming with WME, skiing with Kip Garre, and what we can expect from his segment.

How old were you when you first started skiing? I started skiing when I was 2 years old…and I never want to stop.

When did you first compete? I got into contests and freestyle when I was 15 and had my first sponsors by 17. 

Is this your first Warren Miller movie?   I have been featured in the Freeski segments of Wintervention, Dynasty, and Children of Winter, but this is the first film where I will be a featured athlete in a featured segment.  It will be cool to see how the segment turns out, and I will be on tour this fall to share it with the fans.

What was the best part about filming?  It was fun to film with Tom Day, and I knew about his history as a skier and as a filmer so it was great to finally meet him.  I got to ski alongside Seth Wescott and Kip Garre I was deeply saddened when I heard about Kip’s death. I only knew him for a short time during our filming at Points North, but I will always miss him.

Can you tell us a bit about your segment? What should we expect?   There’s a lot of big mountain ski action in Cordova Alaska.  Tom Day got some great shots from the Helicopter, and we worked on some fun follow cam shots.

What was your favorite part about filming for this movie?  Getting to experience Cordova, Alaska— it is different from any heli ski trip I have ever been on.  The clubhouse feel that Points North offers is really unique.  Our film crew got to share our experience with the guests of Points North. We shared dinner together in the dining hall, played ping pong, and all stayed in the same hotel.

You also film with Poor Boyz Productions. How is filming with WME different?  When I am with PBP, I am usually focusing on putting together a segment that represents my entire season.  When I am with WME I am focusing on that specific trip.  It doesn’t make it any easier though, I am still skiing at a high level and the footage will be high energy in both movies.

What were the conditions like when you were filming?  We got extremely lucky and hit a really good stretch of sunny days and fresh snow.   I think things rolled in as smoothly as possible and we got all the shots we wanted.  Let’s just say we were all really shocked with how lucky we got!

Tell us about your recent knee surgery. I had a piece of bone floating around that needed to be removed. I waited until summer so I would have plenty of time to recover.

What are your plans for this summer? Rest, get strong and ready for next year, I will also be working with my clothing company, Saga Outerwear on next years gear.  My mind is on skiing all throughout the year and being involved with a company makes those ski-less days that much easier to bear.

What are your plans for next winter? I want to ski as much as I can, try some new tricks, and have fun. 

Do you want to film with WME again?   Yeah totally— I would love to do a trip with Andy Mahre.  I have wanted to ski with him forever and we always cross paths at Mt. Hood in the summer but as for a film trip together, we gotta make it happen!

Behind The Scenes: Chris Patterson in Gulmarg

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.

Ten Minute Interview: Michelle Parker

We chatted with Warren Miller Entertainment athlete Michelle Parker as she was driving across the country on a road trip. Here's what she had to say about knee injuries, the snow at Squaw, and filming with WME.

Growing up in a ski town developed my love and passion for the sport. Skiing was my daycare- it was what I did after school.  It was also an easy way for my parents to not have to worry about me.

I was four years old when I had my first race, but my first freeride competition was the US Open when I was 15.

My worst injury was March 26th, about two years ago. I landed on a rock jumping off of a cliff and I had to have two separate surgeries. I tore my ACL, had severe cartilage damage, a bucket flap meniscus tear, and a completely torn medial patellofemoral. I’m still recovering— I feel 100% when I’m skiing and hiking, but I still don’t have full range of motion.

Warren Miller is one of the most widely known companies and it is an honor to be a part of the film. It was really cool working with my best friends on my home mountain, and getting early-ups on the terrain at Squaw.

The conditions were epic. Some days it was super deep powder, and some days it was super light powder. It was awesome getting out early on the deepest snow I’ve ever skied.

Filming with Warren Miller will open up more doors within the industry. It’s a great stepping-stone.

I hope to do some more slopestyle competitions next year and to get my run down. I started skinning a lot this year too, so I hope to take some longer trips in the backcountry.

Park skiing is fun but I like being in the backcountry with friends where I can just float around. There is a lot of stress and pressure that comes from competitions. I like being competitive with only myself.

 My primary goals are based around filming— I want to have a good well-rounded segment. I still want to compete, but it takes up a lot of time and focus, and I feel my time is better spent with friends enjoying the backcountry. --Lauren Munroe

CMH Pow With Andy Mahre and Tyler Ceccanti - Teaser for #62

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.

Rahlves Banzai Series

Over the weekend the third and final event in the Rahlves Banzai Series took place at Sugar Bowl, CA. The Silver Belt Banzai race went down on March 12-13 and competitors and spectators alike came out in force despite variable snow and weather conditions.

Over the weekend the third and final event in the Rahlves Banzai Series took place at Sugar Bowl, CA. The Silver Belt Banzai race went down on March 12-13 and competitors and spectators alike came out in force despite variable snow and weather conditions. Basically a skiercross down natural terrain, the Rahlves Banzai’s are a unique type of race showcasing the challenging natural terrain of the area and talents of the skiers and snowboarders who participate.

This was the inaugural season of the Rahlves Banzai series, created by 4-time Olympian turned big mountain freeskier Daron Rahlves.  The tour was created to “build off the success of the last two Silver Belt Banzai’s and take it to other cool places like Alpine Meadows and Kirkwood,” said Rahlves. The Beaver Bowl Banzai at Alpine Meadows and the Eagle Bowl Banzai at Kirkwood took place earlier this season. Each stop in the series featured a $10,000 cash prize purse with an additional $10,000 in prize money for the overall tour winners. Daron Rahlves had opted out of competing in the three tour stops, acting instead as ambassador, promoter, forerunner, and coach, leaving the door open for others to win.

The events at Alpine Meadows and Kirkwood were clearly a success with as many as 200 hundred competitors filling the Men’s and Women’s Ski and Snowboard Divisions. The venues provided challenging terrain for the racers and, equally as important, excellent viewing for spectators. Hundreds of spectators came out for each event reveling not only in the head to head off-piste skicross racing action but also the fun and festive atmosphere of the event. Prior to the racing over the weekend, Rahlves was pleased with how the series had gone so far, saying that the success of the first two stops had “already exceeded my expectations.” Having only forerun the courses and done some follow-cam work at the two earlier Banzai events it was clear that Rahlves was fired up to race for all the marbles in the Super Final of the Banzai Series.

The Banzai Series is an especially cool event because it attracts all types of skiers.  Jamaica Ski Team’s Errol Kerr and former U.S. freestyler Shelly Robertson are mixing it up with professional freeskiers like Blake Nyman and local Tahoe rippers whom you’ve probably never heard of.  Ex racers, big mountain competition skiers, and average Joe’s all had a chance to win big in an event like this.

On Saturday competitors brought their “A” games and threw down blistering qualifying runs in the Silver Belt Gully.  Third place Men’s qualifier Greg Lindsey said, “The course was super fast, super rugged, it really tested everyone’s limits.” Things got really interesting on Sunday under grey skies with very poor visibility and intermittent wet snowfall as the top qualifiers went head to head, 4 at a time, with hopes of making it to the final round.

When all was said and done, Squaw Valley ripper Greg Lindsey claimed the coveted Silver Belt Buckle taking first for the men followed by Kyle Smaine, Errol Kerr, and George Hjelte rounding out the top 4.   Shannon Rahlves took top honors for the ladies for the third year in a row followed closely by Keely Kelleher, Hannah Jermstad, and Quincy Young finishing 4th. Marcus Caston and Shannon Rahlves were rewarded for their consistency and claimed a little extra cash and the overall titles as Banzai Champions for the Men and Women respectively.

Rahlves finally got his chance to shine when he took on the Men’s Ski division winners from all three stops in a winner take all, dash for the cash, Super Final for $10,000.  The Super Final took place Sunday afternoon and Daron Rahlves took on Marcus Caston, John Bochenek, and Greg Lindsey.  Not surprisingly, Daron Rahlves, the most decorated male downhiller in U.S. history, raced to victory over the other three Banzai champions.  After finishing second to Daron in today’s Super Final, Greg Lindsey said that he did everything he could but, “That guy is incredibly fast.” Greg’s statement is a confirmation of something that most of us already knew, but only a few had the guts to learn firsthand.

For more information go to: www.rahlvesbanzai.com

 

 

 

 

Action Packed Footage from Daron Rahlves' Banzai Tour

Daron Rahlves' Banzai Tour mixes big mountain freeride action with ski & boarder-cross strategy at three of Tahoe's premier resorts. Check out the footage here.

Daron Rahlves' Banzai Tour has been quite a success so far in it's inaugural year. This racing event mixes big mountain freeride action with ski & boarder-cross strategy at three of Tahoe's premier resorts, Alpine Meadows, Kirkwood and Sugar Bowl. With a $10,000 prize awaiting the winner of each tour stop, these athletes are going big or going home.

125 racers registered at the first tour stop, the Beaver Bowl Banzai hosted by Alpine Meadows Jan 22-23. Errol Kerr dominated the men's competition all the way until the last heat of the day when he was edged out by FIS racer, Marcus Caston. Daron's sister, Sharon Rahlves took first place in the women's competition, beating Shelly Robertson, formerly of the US Ski Team. In the men's snowboard division, Sylvain Duclos of France won the final heat and Alison Martin won the women's snowboard division.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort played host to the Eagle Bowl Banzai, second stop on the tour, where 111 racers came prepared to brave the variable conditions. John Bochenek of Squaw Valley took the top tier on the men's skier podium while Big Sky Montana's Keely Kelleher won the womens division. Jayson Hale and Marge Cossettini took first place in the snowboard division.

The Tour Final and Super Final events will take place March 12-13 at the Silver Belt Bazai hosted by Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. $10,000 will go to the Overall Tour Winner and an addidional $10,000 to the Super Final Winner.

Check out footage from the tour below and go to http://www.rahlvesbanzai.com/ for more information.

Rahlves' Banzai Tour from Warren Miller Entertainment on Vimeo.

Five Question Interview: Lexi duPont

The up and coming big mountain athlete on polar bears, big mountain comps, and her first filming experience with Warren Miller Entertainment.

Lexi duPont, flew back from China for the premiere of Wintervention in Boulder, Colorado. DuPont, a Warren Miller athlete and University of Colorado student, has been on a semester at sea program. She hadn’t seen any of the footage, not even a trailer, because the internet on the massive ship she was sharing with several hundred students had spotty service. Needless to say, she was pretty excited to see herself on screen for the first time.

duPont, of Sun Valley, Idaho, is humble in the face of success. She attributes her recent pro-freeskier status to timing and several supportive women. She’s been surrounded by influential and aggressive female freeskiers since she was born. Lexi’s mom, Holley duPont, was the first woman in the world to do a backflip on skis. Lynsey Dyer was her babysitter, and last year she lived with Subaru Freeskiing World Tour athlete, Jacqui Edgerly. She told us about switching from racing to freesking, and what it sounds like to hear your own voice in a movie theater.-Leah Fielding


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