Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The search for snow never ends

‘Wintervention’ is a global snowsports extravaganza


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Photo by Will Wissman Ketchum’s Reggie Crist skiing in Svalbard, Norway, where the summer sun never sets,allowing 24-hour skiing.

As the snow begins to fly, the timing to see Warren Miller's 61st winter action sports film, "Wintervention," is perfect. Narrated by mogul skiing great Jonny Moseley, "Wintervention" is a search for the endless winter. World-class skiers sail from Argentina to Antarctica to locate the last untouched descents on Earth.

Venturing deep into the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia to touring far into the northern reaches of the Arctic Circle, the search for steeps is fierce. Wood River Valley locals Reggie Crist and Lexi Dupont discover 24-hour skiing along with colleague Doug Stoup as they experience the ultimate camping trip complete with dog sleds in the Atmofjella Range of Svalbard, Norway.

Back in the U.S., Dupont and Crist along with brother Zach Crist, also a Ketchum local, show off their big-mountain skiing prowess in Utah. And there's more.

"Wintervention" will take snowsport enthusiasts crisscrossing the globe to some of the world's best powder locales. An expedition to Antarctica on the "Clipper Adventurer" 101-meter ship is breathtaking as the ship navigates the dangerous waters of Drake Passage to deliver skiers to the bottom of the earth to ski ancient glaciers.

In Europe, the film reveals skiing Austria's Arlberg region, and some interesting helicopter skiing takes place in Gurdari, Georgia, which borders Russia. The Greater Caucasus Range has only recently been accessible by foreigners due to the country's political and civil unrest. This sequence includes big-mountain snowboarders who make the sport look easy in this impressive landscape.

The "Wintervention" film crew also goes to New Zealand for the World Heli Challenge, where event founder Tony Harrington said there's only so much you can do in a terrain park or on a racecourse. In addition, a sequence in Girwood, Alaska, features big-mountain helicopter skiing with Stian Hagan and Chris Davenport. Davenport will visit Ketchum on Thursday, Dec. 16, for a film and book signing presentation.

"Wintervention" does include some North American sequences in Vail, Telluride and in British Columbia, plus loads of fun and playtime with some of the best athletes on the slopes today.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com




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