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Extreme Skiing - What we don't see?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
When watching Warren Miller or TGR flicks I am always in awe of the skiers, especially the ones who bounce through fields of rocks, boulders and cliffs. When these guys (gals) descend thru narrow chutes or leap off cliffs how much preparation is involved? Do they scout out landing areas in great detail? Do they have a well planned route mapped out thru the chutes? Obviously the film makers are not going to bore the viewer with the details because it would greatly minimize the "wow" factor.

I am equally amazed at the skiers who have major spills (cartwheel type stuff) do not lose their skis and then mid tumble seem to magicaly regain their balance and continue skiing? Again, I am sure the film makers only show the guys that right themselves miraculously and edit out the poor soul who has to hunt for his skis in bottomless powder.

Any commentary about how they make some of these flicks, or the magic behind the scenes, that we lay people might not know about would be appreciated.
post #2 of 16
I recall reading comments by a woman last year, some great extreme skier, it might have been Kirsten Ulmer. She pointed out that, within her high profile, high performance skiing chums, they all have had some kind of knee surgery, broken bones or other fairly serious traumatic injury from skiing. If you huck of cliffs, sooner or later it takes a toll.
post #3 of 16
Yeah, a lot of what you're seeing is highly planned and choreographed. Those chutes and gnarly lines are scouted from air, and by land below and above.

But when all's said and done, those sick boys and girls still have to possess the stones to drop in.

If you look closely, MOST (certainly not all) of the gnarly chutes and huck LZ's have previous tracks from the practice runs. Can't star in the sequel if you're dead, eh?
post #4 of 16
One of the worse things I think ski movies and magizines and the like do is not show how much prep goes into what we see on the screen. The people you see are top notch athetes they have spent years on thier skills. They also spend a lot of time doing as you said scouting out the landing ect... They do tend to make it look easy. That is where the problem comes in a lot of younger skiers riders think that they can do what they see in these films and not do the homework. The results are often not pretty. I am not picking on younger skiers Just warning that if you want to be able to ski or ride like they do in the films then do your prep. Workout get in great shape go to an advanced clinic. Ski with those that do have the skills. Learn what gear you will need. Even being totally prepared things still do happen.Never have seen someone in a ski film being life flighted out after a nasty crash. but i know it has happened.
post #5 of 16
I've spent a little bit of time skiing with some pros. Every one of them who I have ever been with when they are doing something new, in a new area, or under different conditions scouts the area for a really long time. Something a lot of guys who are trying for their break for the big time don't always do.

What they do on skis is not done out of luck.
post #6 of 16
you ski with prostitutes?

I imagine they would have to scout out the LZ
post #7 of 16
Speed is it's own exposure.
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by matt_davis
you ski with prostitutes?
Don't we all whore ourselves out from time to time?
post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by AltaSkier
Don't we all whore ourselves out from time to time?
well you would know Mr. leaving the mountiains for $$ aka new handle Huntaskier
post #10 of 16
The worst part of the preparation is spending days just scouting around waiting for that perfect day to film... you know, just another bluebird day with 2-feet of fresh untouched pow to rip.
post #11 of 16

Mike's gonna be a Huntah Fah Queue Buddy?

good choice AS.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
they must have superhuman body control and balance to regroup out of some of the spills that would otherwise wind up as yard sales for even the most advanced skier...not sure what you are getting at Gonzo?
post #13 of 16
I asked Dan Egan once about the binding thing. He said they just crank them down as far as they go. Essentially they are not supposed to release.
post #14 of 16
Why I remember back in the old day's before all you young'ins had the flying machines we would ride on the snow on barrel stays that were tied to our feet with bailing twine. Why I remember the great storm of 88 that's 1888 we would climb up on the of the barn and ski down the roof to the skate'in pond.

Sorry, the heat and humidity are getting to me.
post #15 of 16

I ride sometimes with pro FR mtb riders. the preparation, the skill, the timing... sometimes it looks like nothing happens and then the rider sticks it. but usually there's a whole ton of experience (including prior similar attempts at smaller sizes/sketchiness, etc on prior occasions) into the every day stuff, and lots of calculation on the big stuff.

who wants to see that in a film? that's what the carnage section is for.
post #16 of 16
Tons of preparation goes into skiing big, committing lines like you see in the movies. The lines are always scouted out ahead of time, often via heli, sometimes from the bottom. A steep skier will literally spend hours standing at the bottom of a big line staring at it, imagining the route down, choosing the line to take, making mental notes of obstacles, landmarks for where to turn, where the avalanche danger zones are, and where the safe zones are to ski out in case an avalanche begins. Then they wait and wait and wait until the weather/avalanche/and in the case of movies, lighting, conditions are perfect before they go for it.

I took a steep skiing course last season with Bela Valdesz with ASI in Tahoe and we talked a lot about the preparation that goes into skiing a big line. He said many skiers he knows even take a Polaroid of the line and tape it to their wrist. They can refer to it on the way down so they know exactly where they are on the face and where they want to head.

Of course, lots of movies also just film in the "near" backcountry of the major ski resorts, probably not that far from the boundary. It's tough to haul all the gear out to far, and at a place like Whistler/Blackcomb there is plenty of terrain right around the boundary that looks as if it could be in the middle of nowhere.
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