Last Thursday, I went to the premier of the 2011 Warren Miller Film – Like There’s No Tomorrow. The evening was excellently hosted by Black Diamond’s Jim Odoire, who kept the crowd loud and excited, meaning there were plenty of shouts of “Rad” “Steez” “Sick” and “Gnarly” throughout the film’s showing. Bizarrely, one chap got rather excited about Nissan… With complimentary drinks, throwaways and a prize draw, you can see why some people have been coming to the premier for 15 years!
But whilst all the sponsor-funded giveaways were great, it was the film that everyone was here to see. Warren Miller’s 62nd, and its come a long way from a couple of mates filming each other skiing and surfing. It’s narrated by Jonny Moseley, who features in a fabulous Squaw Valley section that pays homage to the heritage of the resort with Warren Miller DOP Tom Day, ’93 year old Jack Walsh and some of the Valley’s current greats, such as JT Holmes. Warren Miller films have become half ski-movie, half documentary, and this section talks about the spirit and lifestyle of being a skier, with “avalanche bombs being the best alarm clock,” and “everyone working all summer, as you’re supposed to take the winter off to go skiing.”
The first sequence in the film is in Indian Kashmir, with Alaska guide Lel Tone and Big Mountain legend Lynsey Dyer. The very different culture, with learners in jeans, guards with guns and horse-drawn carts rolling down tracks, is balanced by an inherent camaraderie with others on the mountain: sharing the ultimate adventure and search for happiness with like-minded souls. And what an adventure – heli-skiing in uncharted terrain, this is the ultimate definition of first tracks!
Chris Davenport’s section at Turnham Ravine with Canadian Hugo Harrisson was brilliant – ski mountaineering over faces that were more ice than snow and landscapes that looked like the surface of the moon. This is one of the hardest places to ski in the world, and it’s where the young Davenport cut his teeth. Showing Hugo around, he reminisces on the spirit of mountain adventure, and it’s great following them on a mini-expedition. As Chris says, “If you can ski, here, you can ski pretty much anywhere.”
The jibbing sections are great: Andreas Hatveit’s Backyard Battle is as impressive as it is ridiculous (the man has a snow park in his back yard!) and the Terrain Transformers is really fun, with some great rails and urban trickery, including a one-legged ledge slide, which I hadn’t seen before. The short Banzai Downhill coverage is, quite frankly mental: a combination of chinese downhill, alpine downhill and skier-cross, the action is seat-of-your-pants stuff. The CMH sequence with Andy Mahre and Tyler Ceccanti is more like classic ski-porn: huge dumps, pillow lines and a suspect (but entertaining) back-story about a yeti.
We finish with some poignant time alongside the Points North crew. Poignant because it features Kip Garre, the guide who sadly passed away in 2011. Seth Wescott insists we should put ourselves in the moment, as Kip did, “It doesn’t matter what’s going to happen tomorrow because you are living for the moment…and you are totally engrossed in it…and you are loving being there and being present like that. People who commit themselves to this lifestyle take advantage of it…like there might not be a tomorrow.”
This film is brilliant, and has a lot more to offer than just great visuals. The production, cinematography and editing is awesome, and the interview and PTCs from the athletes are worth the ticket alone. The film is on tour – try and watch it in a cinema to really enjoy the fantastic camerawork and huge vistas.