Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Barrel roll into winter with Warren Miller

Entertainment groupís 65th film coming to Sun Valley this week

Express Staff Writer

The new Warren Miller movie “No Turning Back” will be screened at the Sun Valley Opera House on Nov. 1 and 2.
Courtesy photo

   Break out the woolly hat, mittens and hot chocolate. Winter is coming … and there’s no turning back.
    In preparation for shredding and carving, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy Warren Miller Entertainment’s 65th film, “No Turning Back,” at the Sun Valley Opera House on Saturday, Nov. 1, and Sunday, Nov. 2. Show times are at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Nov. 1 and at 5 p.m. Nov. 2.
    The newest installment in Warren Miller Entertainment’s action sports cinematography pays homage to 65 years of mountain culture and adventure filmmaking. Warren Miller Entertainment dates back to before skis had edges, and the company strives to conquer winter wonderlands within and without of reach. This year, watch premier skiers and snowboarders as they tackle the mountains of Japan, France, the Swiss Alps, Montana and more.
    The film features top athletes such as Ketchum local Mike Hattrup, Sierra Quitiquit, Rob Kingwill, Ingrid Backstrom, Oystein Aasheim and Seth Wescott tackling uncharted territory.
    “Everywhere we go, Warren Miller Entertainment finds people who have dedicated their lives to the mountains,” said producer Josh Haskins. “Every location we shoot at, from the smallest local hills to the top of Alaska’s Chugach, speaks to skiers and snowboarders because, at the end of the day, all we need are some steep slopes and some snow to cover them.”
    In 1949, Warren Miller started his modest ski film company with a rucksack, an 8-millimeter camera, a voice and a dream. He moved to Sun Valley with some friends, and they lived in a trailer in the parking lot of the ski resort. Miller decided to capitalize on his hobbies and passions by collecting action-packed ski footage to create movies. He narrated the films himself. He created Warren Miller Entertainment, which would go on to produce one iconic documentary per year.
    As time has progressed, the sport has clearly evolved.
    “This sport has changed so much,” said helicopter skier Chris Anthony. “I mean look at the last 65 years of the Warren Miller movie—it used to be a big expedition just to get you out there and take a photo of these mountains. Now, we are dropping in on top of them.”
    Years ago, Miller had a classic line: “Anyone who tells you they can still ski as well now as when they were 20 sure was a lousy skier when they were 20.” To be fair, when he said this 20 or so years ago, it was absolutely true. However, the revolution in ski design has served as a virtual fountain of youth for more “experienced” skiers.
    Hattrup doesn’t mind saying he’s over 50, and he can still carve a mountain to pieces. He was a mogul specialist for the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team and currently works for K2. The extreme skiing pioneer and Ketchum local spoke to the Mountain Express about his experience on the film.
    Hattrup said it was unique because “it was with a bunch of old skiers!” All the skiers who were filmed with him in Chamonix, France, were over 40.
    “The idea was that skis have stretched the ski careers of baby boomers. Normally, once you reach 35, you’re simply trying not to get worse. But with the huge advances in ski design, you can actually improve and hold onto your ability much longer,” he said.
    Warren Miller Entertainment’s films have been a part of Hattrup’s life since he was a kid.
    “I looked forward to seeing them every fall. I grew up in Seattle (where Miller had lived) and Warren was still narrating his films live, so it was a pretty special event,” he said. “Also, there were no VHS ski movies when I was a kid, so the only chance you got to see a ski movie was when it came to your local town.”
    In Sun Valley, the trails aren’t super steep—but there is 3,400 vertical feet of uninterrupted fall line. Hattrup appreciates the valley’s slopes.
    “It can be a powder day over Christmas vacation and you will not wait more than five minutes in line. So you can get to the top of a run—Warm Springs, in particular—and the next thing you know you’re going 60 or 70 miles per hour.”
    Hattrup’s advice for pro-skier hopefuls included two points: “Go to college and you only get one set of tires,” he said somewhat cryptically. “Being a professional skier is a very short career. A college degree will help you be more successful. I never would have gotten my first job at K2 without a degree.”
    The “one set of tires” refers to taking care of your body.
    “If you peel out too much when you’re young, you won’t have any tread when you’re older.”
    A famous quote by Warren Miller, “If you don’t do it this year, you will be one year older when you do,” was echoed several times throughout “No Turning Back.” Stop waiting for life. Grab an apple cider or bottle of brew. Re-watch older Warren Miller Entertainment films. Come out for the premiere of “No Turning Back,” and get ready for an action packed winter on the slopes.
    For more information about the film, visit

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