Update: Scroll down to the bottom of this blog to see the newly released movies.
These days any 14 year old with a smartphone and a computer can create a half-decent ski movie. It’s not enough anymore to show pros huckin’ huge – we need great storytelling, mind-blowing visuals and a huge amount of stoke. And with its last instalment of “A Skier’s Journey,” Arc’teryx looks like it’s going to deliver exactly that.
What started three years ago as a film project that explored various aspects and destinations of skiing, “A Skier’s Journey” has since won accolades around the globe and this year marks the final set in the series. Directed by North Vancouver filmmaker Jordan Manley, the last three episodes follow Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots to Iran and China and culminates with a return home to British Columbia. Here’s the trailer:
What’s especially amazing about this last series of the film project is it almost didn’t happen. Before embarking on filming the final season of “A Skier’s Journey,” Jordan crashed and concussed himself while mountain biking. It was enough to put everything on hold. Ten months later, his recovery well underway, Jordan was trying on ski boots when he stood up, knocked his head on a shelf and…the setback was worse than the original injury. During this next round of convalescence, all he could manage was a slow, brief, daily walk. His filmmaking was once again put on hold but during that time he did take photographs on his daily walks. The following video documents his experience:
This year marks Jordan’s full return from his long rehabilitation and he says things have changed for him now. “Don’t get me wrong, I love being out in the mountains, but my relationship to risk is very different,” he explains. However, “It was important for Chad, Forrest and I to finish the series properly. Before we set out, I wasn’t sure how my body and brain would react to the demands of travelling and filming and being in the mountains for extended periods, especially being so far from home…there was an extra dialogue running in my head, concerned about my own capabilities physically, on top of day-to-day concerns of gathering film. For the final episode where we walked, skied, and paddled our way across the spine of BC’s Coast Mountains, it was emotional to look back and acknowledge the long road of recovery from post-concussion syndrome, and that we’d made it.”
The final three series in “A Skier’s Journey” will be released on www.askiersjourney.com over the course of a month starting on October 4 (which will feature Iran), then October 18 (China) and on November 3, 2016 which will culminate with the release of “Crossing Home” about navigating the Coast Mountains of British Columbia.
Continue watching this space to see the movies as they’re released over the autumn months.
October 4, 2016 Update
Arc’eryx has just released its feature about Iran and you can watch it below. Here’s the summary write-up: “Should we go?” Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots decide, indeed, they should. Upon arriving in Iran, they are welcomed with profound warmth, stunned by the immense beauty of the landscape and culture. Threaded through Tehran’s bustling bazaars to Isfahan’s dazzling mosques, the two skiers get a glimpse at the complex dichotomy that divides public and private lives in Iran. As journalist Elaine Sciolino writes, “Iran can be dazzling, and light-filled, a reflection of its complexities; but it can also be cold, confusing, and impenetrable.” To travel to Iran is a reminder of the virtues of travel itself. Nothing is as it first appears.
October 18, 2016 Update
Arc’eryx has released its feature about China and you can watch it below. Here’s the summary write-up: Skiing as sport is in its infancy in China, a phenomenon of the country’s exploding middle class. As a means of survival however, it is thousands of years old, a Stone Age hunter-gatherer technology born in the Altai Mountains where China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Siberia merge. On a vast trajectory that spans 11,000km of Northern China, Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots touch down into the rich past and dizzying future of these two respective Chinese ski cultures. As one rapidly expands, they find the other is at risk of disappearing.