Colter Hinchliffe: The Ski Porn Star Next Door | AspenTimes.com

Colter Hinchliffe: The Ski Porn Star Next Door

Aspen native Colter Hinchliffe has been featured in Teton Gravity Research films for the last five winters. He's on screen in the production company's "Tight Loose," Powder's "Monumental" and the Aspen Skiing Co.'s "One Season" this weekend at The Meeting.
Hunter Barr/Courtesy photo |

If You Go …

What: The Meeting

Where: Wheeler Opera House; Belly Up Aspen

When: Through Saturday, Oct. 8

How much: $10-$15

Tickets: Wheeler Opera House box office; www.aspenshowtix.com

THE MEETING, Film Schedule

Friday, Oct. 7

6:30 p.m. ‘Ruin & Rose,’ Wheeler Opera House

8:30 ‘The Fourth Phase,’ Wheeler Opera House

9 ‘Ring the Alarm,’ Belly Up Aspen

Saturday, Oct. 7

3 p.m. ‘The Fourth Phase,’ Wheeler Opera House

5:30 ‘Monumental: Skiing Our National Parks,’ Wheeler Opera House

7 ‘After Forever,’ Wheeler Opera House

8:30 ‘Tight Loose,’ Wheeler Opera House

9 ‘The Manboys Movie’ & ‘Insight,’ Belly Up Aspen

Colter Hinchliffe is a familiar local face in Aspen — behind the bar, around town, on the hill. This weekend it’ll be hard to miss him on the big screen, as well.

Hinchliffe, 30, is featured in three films screening this weekend at The Meeting, the annual gathering of the ski industry tribes at the Wheeler Opera House and film festival showcasing the year’s biggest new ski porn titles.

The Roaring Fork Valley native — born in Aspen, raised in Basalt — broke into the ski movie game five winters back. A standout freeskier since high school, Hinchliffe had been featured in some on-mountain photo shoots while living in Utah for a few winters. On a ski trip to Alaska, he bumped into the ski and film crew from the envelope-pushing, Jackson, Wyoming-based Teton Gravity Research and managed to talk and ski his way into their shoot.

“I kind of bugged them to the point where they let me go out and film with them one day,” Hinchliffe recalled. “They told me flat out, ‘None of this footage is going to end up in the film.’”

“I love being based here. It’s still one of my favorite places to ski. We don’t have crowds. We have a ton of vert and it’s always a pleasure here. It’s a great place to get strong. It’s a nice place to travel out of and even a better place to come home to.”Colter Hinchliffe

But it did. And it got the ball rolling for Hinchliffe’s on-screen pro skiing career, with segments in Teton Gravity Research’s movies over the past four winters and a place in the TGR family. Hinchliffe has remained a local boy, though, bartending around Aspen and regularly submitting silly shorts to the NEPSA Video Awards when he’s not heading out with the globe-trotting rippers of Teton Gravity Research.

The production company’s main winter 2016-17 release is “Tight Loose,” which plays Saturday at The Meeting and takes its name from the TGR credo aimed at keeping one’s act together but getting a little wild when the time is right.

“I’m proud to live that way,” said Hinchliffe. “It makes sense to me — some people are a little too tight for my tastes. Some are a little too loose. The whole TGR gang and a lot of my friends around here can vibe with that ‘tight loose’ program.”

Hinchliffe doesn’t have a featured solo segment in “Tight Loose” as he has in Teton Gravity Research’s recent films, but he’s in the grand finale in the movie — a closing segment in Squaw Valley. He focused on a handful of other projects last winter, including an ambitious film project in the La Sal Mountains (more on that later).

Along with “Tight Loose” at The Meeting, Hinchliffe will be onscreen in Aspen Skiing Co.’s “One Season” and in Powder Productions’ “Monumental: Skiing Our National Parks.”

The world premiere of “Monumental” is Oct. 20 in Denver, but Skico got it for a sneak peak at The Meeting. The five-chapter film from Powder magazine’s new film-production arm brought some of the ski world’s best and brightest to snowy parks around the U.S. to celebrate the Park Service’s centennial anniversary. Hinchliffe is in two of the five parts — he spent a week camping and skiing in Yellowstone for the film, and braved the notoriously rainy conditions in Olympic National Park in Washington in early June.

Hinchliffe and the Powder crew hiked 20 miles to the foot of a glacier and spent two miraculously sunny days skiing it.

“We had perfect weather, which is hard to get up there,” he said.

Skico’s “One Season” is one of four shorts in a promotional video series that also highlights “One Run,” “One Day” and “One Week” in Aspen and Snowmass. Skico will preview all four parts during The Meeting, before releasing them online before the season.

Hinchliffe collaborated with local filmmaker Harrison Buck on to document Hinchliffe’s 2015-16 season in Aspen. The pair headed out whenever there was good light or good snow.

“We hit all four mountains and hit some jumps and skied some pow,” Hinchliffe said. “I’m excited to see how that turned out. It’s always fun working at home. I know the areas so well that it’s easy to be in the right place at the right time.”

Being in the right place at the right time, Hinchliffe (like many pro skiers) stressed, is the key to performing for the camera. It’s different, of course, than just going out and having a good ski day for yourself. Most of a filming day often is spent getting to the right spot, waiting for just the perfect light, then stomping your line.

“When you’re just ripping laps, you’re like ‘Oh, I’m killing it right now. I could be getting filmed and it’d look great!’ But it doesn’t really work that way,” he said. “I enjoy the whole process of seeing the vision, setting the whole thing up, trying to nail it.”

Hinchliffe’s primary creative mission last summer wasn’t in any of the three movies that’ll be at The Meeting. His focus was on shooting, skiing and climbing in the La Sal Mountains in eastern Utah. A little-filmed ski destination, the La Sal has become a fascination for Hinchliffe over years of driving between Aspen and Moab for adventures and seeing them in the distance from the road.

He teamed with skier-filmmaker Tim Dutschi for the project, and they spent a total of five weeks skiing the mountains and then coming down to climb the rock in the Castle Valley, including a summit of Castleton Tower.

The still-untitled film is scheduled for a free online release through Teton Gravity Research later this month.

“I think it’s going to be totally rad and different,” Hinchliffe said. “It was a passion project.”

As Hinchliffe’s onscreen profile rises, it’s likely we’ll see less of him around town. His professional duties are taking him away from Aspen this weekend, so he’ll miss The Meeting for the first time in a long time. But he plans to remain based here. When he’s not out on filming adventures with the Teton Gravity Research crew this winter, he’ll be working on snow a bit for Aspen Alpine Guides and picking up bartending shifts at The Red Onion and elsewhere (“I’m super broke, so if anybody needs a part-time bartender…”).

As a skier, though, there’s no place like home for Hinchliffe.

“I love being based here,” he said. “It’s still one of my favorite places to ski. We don’t have crowds. We have a ton of vert and it’s always a pleasure here. It’s a great place to get strong. It’s a nice place to travel out of and even a better place to come home to.”

atravers@aspentimes.com


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