Nat Ross’ latest telemark movie premiers Friday in Breck |

Nat Ross’ latest telemark movie premiers Friday in Breck

Richard Chittick

For the last three winters, Vail telemark skier Nat Ross labored through the backcountry of western mountain ranges with a camera either held up to his eye or strapped to his back.

He pushed the athletes that he filmed to go bigger and higher and deeper into the wilderness in order to get some of the most captivating ski imagery ever filmed.

Over and over again, the athletes huck themselves off of the biggest cliffs and break into the most beautiful free-heel turns you’ve ever seen.

And this year is no different, as CORE: Total Telemark III makes its debut in Breckenridge at 7 p.m. tonight at the Breckenridge Town Hall on Ski Hill Road. Admission is $5, and all proceeds benefit the Breckenridge Festival of Film.

This movie is easily the most of aggressive of Ross’ three productions.

“I really put a lot of energy into this movie,” Ross said. “I knew this was going to be the only telemark movie this year and I wanted to represent the sport.”

The movie features Summit County free-heel skiers Pete Gallup, Mark Tieszen, Ben Dolenc, Eron Turnipseed and Kevin Soller. From outside of the county, Max Mancini of Crested Butte, B.J. Brewer of Salt Lake City and Luke Miller of Boulder all make appearances.

The movie begins with a quick narration from Ross regarding the prominence of telemark skiing. He even pokes fun at Warren Miller’s latest movie, “Journey.”

Dolenc, who appears in both movies, has been a fixture in Ross’s movie since the first release, “Laying it Down,” in 2001.

And his movie prowess shines in this flick, as he rips it down a monstrous Alaskan face in the Chugach Range last winter.

Ross’s production crew traveled throughout the western United States and Canada to find the deepest powder in some of the most remote destinations.

According to Ross, a great deal of the movie was filmed in the backcountry, far away from lifts and groomed snow.

Instead of ski resorts, they visited mountain ranges, including the Tenmile, the Sangre De Cristos of southern Colorado, the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, the Wasatch Mountains in Utah and the Sierra Nevada of California.

Ross and his skiers also explored deep into the Nelson Range of British Columbia and the Chugach of Alaska.

The few resorts that the crews visited (Copper Mountain, Breckenridge and Alta, Utah) are featured prominently.

Ross was quick to point out that production ideas are already in the works for next year’s edition. Look for his film crews at the U.S. Telemark Nationals at Copper Mountain Feb. 6-8 and at the seventh annual Telemark Freeskiing Championships at Alta in March.

The next showing will be at Barkley’s West on Nov. 29.

For more information, visit the website at

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