Warren Miller movies come and Warren Miller movies go. But this year, there's at least one glaring reason why "Higher Ground," Miller's 56th annual film, will be unlike any previous Miller production.
The film is touting itself as the first ever high-definition ski production. And when it comes to town on Oct. 28 and 29, a crew will bring a high-definition player and projector to the Sun Valley Opera House.
"You are going to feel like you are in the mountains and you will be cold," said Miller representative Nancy Richter.
"Higher Ground" also includes segments with Ketchum's own Lynsey Dyer, Wood River High School graduate and Sun Valley ski team alumna.
Dyer was filmed on location at Lake Tahoe's Heavenly Valley ski resort last winter, a season during which she recovered from a January 2004 knee injury. On Feb. 13, 2005, "Do-or-Dyer" made that injury officially part of her past by winning the New Mexico Extreme Freeskiing Championships with zero preparation; she was literally just passing through with film crews when she learned of the competition.
After the New Mexico win, it looked like Dyer was back in form. Ascending the winners' podium was like returning home; in 2003 she won the Canadian Freeski Challenge, the North American Freeskiing Championships and the Montana Freeride Challenge.
The Warren Miller film shoot was yet another in a list of accomplishments.
"That was a dream come true from when I was really young," she said. "I always wanted to be in those films. I totally remember going to the Opera House and watching the films, beer bottles rolling down the aisles and everyone standing up and yelling when they mentioned Sun Valley."
Tragically, on a film shoot back home in Sun Valley the day after winning Taos, Dyer blew out her other knee.
Since recovering from the second operation, she is now focused on getting back in shape to film this winter; she has pending shoots with Warren Miller, Teton Gravity Research and Nissan.
As for competition, the second injury taught her a valuable lesson: "I just have to get off the groomers—they are dangerous. The backcountry is much safer," she said.
Ticket stubs from "Higher Ground" bring numerous perks: a free lift ticket to Soldier Mountain from Nov. 26 to Dec. 24 or March 1 to 31; a Tamarack Resort lift ticket good on various dates throughout the winter; $25 off a $100 Formula Sports purchase and 20 percent off a Formula Sports ski tune.
Reach "Higher Ground" at the Sun Valley Opera House Friday, Oct. 28, at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. or Saturday, Oct. 29, at 6 and 9 p.m. $16 tickets are available at Formula Sports and the Opera House box office.