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Ski film from Powderwhore Productions screens in Edwards Saturday

Caramie Schnell
cschnell@vaildaily.com
Andrew Mclean, Noah Howell, Thomas Gaesburan and Jonah Howell explored first descents in the St. Elias Range in Alaska while base camping somewhat luxuriously down below.
Garrett Grove | Special to the Daily |

If you go ...

What: “Some Thing Else,” a Powderwhore’s 10th film.

Where: Crazy Mountain Brewery, Edwards.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

Cost: $10. There’s also a raffle that will benefit Colorado Avalanche Information Center.

More information: Moviegoers need to park in the Colorado Mountain College lot across the street and walk over to the brewery. Pints of Scenic Route Kolsch will be $2 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Visit http://www.powderwhore.com for more on the film.

Along with the first snowflakes, elections and the Thanksgiving holiday, November means it’s time for the new snow films that get people ramped up for the ski season. On Saturday night, Crazy Mountain Brewery in Edwards hosts a showing of “Some Thing Else,” Powderwhore Production’s 10th film that takes viewers to remote mountain ranges, places them atop steep mountain spines, makes them laugh with a bit of low-brow humor and generally gets them psyched for Opening Day.

“Part ski porn, part documentary, this is a full on propaganda piece promoting the joys and wonder of exploring winter on skis and split-board,” reads the press release for the film. “It’s our business and pleasure to break trail with those who are willing to put in the time, education and respect the mountains deserve and record it for posterity.”

This year’s film screens at Crazy Mountain Brewery in Edwards Saturday night. It’s the fourth year the brewery has partnered with Powderwhore for a screening.

“It should be a fun evening of craft beer, face shots and some crazy athletes shredding some serious powder all over the world,” said Marisa Selvy, co-owner of Crazy Mountain.

“We find that the demographics of people who love ski movies are the same folks who are fans of craft beer: fun locals who enjoy our laid back mountain lifestyle and love being outdoors in any season,” she continued.“They live here for the sole purpose of being able to wake up every day in the winter to ski/ride two of the best mountains in the entire nation and sip on a delicious, locally-brewed craft beer during apres ski.”

People are encouraged to bring their own camping chairs and movie snacks since Crazy Mountain’s food truck will not be open, but outside alcohol is not permitted. In past years, the screenings have sold out, Selvy said.

“We clear out all the furniture in the tasting room and just have everyone line up their camping chairs side-by-side,” she said. “I believe we can squeeze in about 150 people, seated. The tickets are available online and are first-come, first-served at the door.”

Selvy recommends people arrive at 7:30 p.m. when the doors first open so they can get in before it sells out, and she said that moviegoers need to park in the Colorado Mountain College lot across the street and walk over to the brewery. “All cars in the lot behind the brewery will be booted or towed at the owner’s expense, as no one is allowed to park there anymore,” she said.

‘His life was a tribute’

The film includes footage from Hokkaido, Japan; a yurt in Montana’s Beartooth Mountains; the Tordrillo Mountains in Alaska; Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve; the Tetons and the Salt River Wind Range in Wyoming; and Snowy Mountain Lodge in British Columbia.

Athletes in the film include Eric Balken, Will Cardamone, Megan Michelson, Dan Abrams, Carston Oliver, Ben Nobel, Alyssa Larson, Andrew McLean, Thomas Gaisbacher, Noah Howell, Paul Kimbrough, Kalen Thorien, Ian Provo, Riley Leboe and Geoff McAndrews. JP Auclair, a Canadian freestyle skier and one of National Geographic’s 2014 Adventurers of the Year, is also in the film. Auclair died in an avalanche in Patagonia on the border between Chile and Argentina at the end of September along with Andreas Fransson, a premiere steep skier who had first descents around the world. The skiers were being filmed for a new project called Apogee, a word which is defined as the highest point.

“Some Thing Else” filmmakers consider themselves lucky to have spent time with Auclair.

“We were lucky as hell to get to tag along on a trip to BC with one of the most talented and influential skiers ever,” said Noah Howell, who owns Powerwhore Productions with his brother, Jonah. “Snow conditions weren’t ideal, but JP was ramped up to get out and ski every day in negative-20 degree temps. His attitude was genuine and caring and he was a team player all the way.”

There’s no tribute to Auclair in the film, as he died after the movie was released.

“We’re glad we got to meet him and ski with him, unfortunately it was in the last season of his incredible life,” Howell said. “His death occurred after our film was already wrapped up and DVDs in hand, so there is no tribute. His life was a tribute to his life.”

‘The main concern’

Auclair’s death is a reminder of how dangerous backcountry skiing can be. In the trailer for “Some Thing Else,” there’s footage of a crown from an avalanche that was triggered while filming in Alaska.

“It was a close call,” Howell said. “Avalanche safety is very important to us whenever we are out in the mountains whether filming or not. It’s really the main concern; good snow and good shots are all secondary.”

Though one might think it’s a challenge to keep the films fresh, year in and year out, even though they focus on the same general theme, Howell said that’s actually not too hard.

“We try and find new characters, locations and stories to tell,” he said. “There are so many fascinating things happening in the backcountry on so many different types of gear that it’s not a difficult task.”

And sometimes those in the film come directly to the film crew, as was the case with Geoff McAndrews in the Salt River Range in Wyoming, which ended up being Howell’s favorite segment of the film.

“I really enjoy watching it with the audience and hearing the reactions,” Howell said. “He emailed us inviting us out to his ‘hut’ and we took a chance to go film him. What happened was so bizarre and unique that it left us speechless, and only watching the segment can display this character accurately.”

The amount of time the crew spent filming in each place varied greatly, Howell said.

“But it seems like two weeks is the magic number,” he said. “If you give yourself that much time, you have good odds of getting some good snow and enough skiing to complete a nice segment.”

Powderwhore is halfway through its tour of the western U.S., Howell said.

“The film seems to have been enjoyed by most,” he said. “I do think it’s our best work yet and that sentiment has been expressed to us from most of Powderwhore Nation.”


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