The original ‘Extreme’ film to be shown in Aspen |

The original ‘Extreme’ film to be shown in Aspen

Madeleine Osberger
Snowmass correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” When “Aspen Extreme” plays at the Wheeler Opera House Thursday – in a fund-raiser for Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club’s alpine competitive program – the evening will offer a deja vu of sorts for its writer/director, former Snowmass ski pro Patrick Hasburgh and several of the film’s main characters.

“The (original) premier was at the Wheeler,” recalled Robin Farley (nee Robin Hand). “I remember riding in the limo from Patrick’s house, drinking Champagne all the way. It was Patrick’s story really, he and his friend Gary, the sons of blue collar workers, coming out here to be ski bums.”

First released in 1993, “Aspen Extreme” is actually set in the hedonistic ’80s, a time of one-piece ski suits, long, narrow boards and a 24/7 party scene. “We didn’t sleep much back then. It was non-stop fun,” recalled Farley, who has a character named after her in the film (the DJ portrayed by Teri Polo).

“Aspen Extreme” screens Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the film are $25. Or, pay $100 for a post-movie party with the stars (including Peter Berg, nerdy Dexter Rudecki in the film) and a costume party at the Cantina. Don’t forget your one-piece!

Alan Cole, spokesman for AVSC, said, “It’s going to be a one-of-a-kind evening. Really fun.” He noted that all proceeds from the night of “Aspen Extreme” will “help offset the costs of the kids participating in our alpine competitive program. This is the first year we’ve done something like this.”

As the stunt double for bad girl Bryce, local Liz Talenfeld skied bumps, bumps and more bumps on the Ridge of Bell. While she enjoyed that part of the production, which was filmed locally and in Canada, it was her costume that provided some interesting challenges. Attired in skin tight ski pants, a fur headband and big diamond earrings, the former Snowmass ski pro’s long hair was hidden behind a wig and a fake braid “was pinned to my skull,” she recalled this week with a laugh.

Snowmass Village photographer Robin Smith remembers when Hasburgh was working on this screenplay and other projects while living in the Skico’s modest Snow Eagle employee housing. Farley, who was hired as a seamstress for the film, said she “read all the first drafts of the movie. The actual movie ended up being nothing like the first draft.”

“Aspen Extreme” takes its share of literary license, especially the backwards-looking view of the Maroon Bells. “We still laugh about it,” Farley said.

While “Aspen Extreme” may never make AFI’s top 100, it does feature some truly awesome footage, most memorably the skiers blasting down a frozen waterfall. Aspenite Scotty Nichols, Skico’s race director, and the late Doug Coombes did most of the men’s stunts.

A lot has changed since “Aspen Extreme”‘s release 16 years ago. But in some ways, things have remained the same.

Liz Talenfeld raised two children during that period; her son is the cover guy for the current Sojourner magazine (that’s Jesse hucking off a cliff in a photo by Frank Shine). Co-star Peter Berg has gone from a virtual unknown to an acclaimed director of commercials and creator of the TV show “Friday Night Lights.”

Hasburgh’s days at the Snow Eagle have long since faded into his rear view mirror; his success as a producer of “21 Jump Street,” the writer of the 2002 film “Talladega” and numerous other projects have provided him with a much more comfortable life, say friends (Hasburgh was not able to be reached for this story).

While Robin Farley has great memories of the real “Aspen Extreme” days, she said, “It was so much fun, I don’t feel I have to repeat it.”

Tickets are available by calling 920-5770 or online at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User