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Two new ski and snowboard films that will stoke the winter season

Teton Gravity Research and Matchstick Production are coming to the Roaring Fork Valley to show their latest films

Kimberly Nicoletti
The Aspen Times
Parkin Costain skis big mountains in 'Magic Hour.'
Nic Alegre

The aspens are turning a little later this year, but that’s not preventing Teton Gravity Research and Matchstick Productions from stoking the metaphorical fires that burn internally for the upcoming ski season.

Each company debuts its latest ski and snowboarding film this week in Aspen, and each takes a slightly different approach to that obsession most of us have when it comes to making turns — particularly in the deep, untouched stuff.

Matchstick asks the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” — exploring skiing through the eyes of 12-year-old freestyle phenomenon Walker “Shredz” Woodring, while Teton Gravity Research asks: “Is there an age limit to pursuing our dreams?”



TGR employs a series of skits interspersed throughout its montage of big-mountain footage to add a little humor to the dilemma of aging skiers. Sage and Mac (aka Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and Ian McIntosh, made up to look like seniors) rely on their cane and walker to make it to a cabin in Kaslo, British Columbia. There, like so many other powder lovers, they’re waiting for the weather to come through, so they can make those anticipated turns. The duo sprinkles humor into the otherwise high-adrenaline action of iconic skiers and riders like Kai Jones, Nick McNutt, Jeremy Jones, Tim Durtschi, Bode Merrill, Parkin Costain, Michelle Parker and Amy Jane David. Lines like “Got those stem cells yet?” particularly hit home for those of us beyond a certain age still dedicating our daily life to the mountains.

Teton’s “Magic Hour” doesn’t refer to a specific time of day but rather those magical moments we find on the mountain — and the ones “in some of the most beautiful, wild places on the planet,” according to the film’s summary.




It opens with Jackson Hole’s Kings & Queens of Corbet’s, where Durtschi breaks his arm and eventually makes its way to places like Cordova, Alaska, where “the ocean and mountains come together like few other places,”; a new permit has just opened up new terrain, and pro athletes take on the biggest vertical they will all season or, as one skier calls it, “the scariest thing in life.” That trip also results in an injury, this time, a shoulder dislocation.

When the crew hits the Purcell Mountains in British Columbia, Mark Herbison, Christina Lustenberger and Sam Smoothy succeed in the first descent of the Mt. Ethelbert’s east face on Feb. 22 in minus-40-degree windchill conditions, which results in immediate frostnip.

Jake Hopfinger flies through the air in “Magic Hour.”
Nic Alegre

Then, it’s on to the “endless” terrain of the Selkirk Mountains in British Columbia; Grand Teton National Park (which showcases some slow-motion, orgasmic face and full-body shots); a tumbling crash and some nice tree skiing in the Valhalla Ranges of British Columbia; and 15-year-old free-skiing sensation Kai Jones in Juneau, Alaska.

Matchstick’s “Anywhere from Here” views the world of possibility from the eyes of Woodring — who started skiing at age 6 in Sun Valley, Idaho, was recently signed by Oakley and has been called a skiing prodigy. He skis year-round (winters at Copper Mountain and summers in Mt. Hood or Europe) and dreams of competing in X Games, which seems likely. His nickname, Shredz, came from “the older dudes” who saw him ski, he said.

In “Anywhere from Here,” he answers that most annoying question adults seem to love asking kids.

“I want to be someone who has a great time,” he says. “I want to be carefree. I want to explore the unknown. I want to stand on top of the world. I want to do the impossible. I want to fly. Wait, grow up? Is this a trick question? I don’t want to grow up, and I want to be surrounded by kids who never grow up either.”

Matchstick Productions packs its film with those kind of “kids” in adult bodies, including Sam Kuch, Tonje Kvivik, Eric Hjorleifson, Markus Eder, Emily Childs, Lucy Sackbauer and many more, as they “play” in the snow in Alaska, British Columbia, Austria, Colorado and Oregon.

Woodring’s “final” answer is probably the best, as he says, “You know what — I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. All I know is that I’m a skier, and it feels like, with this sport and these crazy magic shoes, I can pretty much go anywhere.”

Big air and even bigger lines, powder shots, terrain parks and even surfing fill the screen in “Anywhere from Here,” and, just like Teton’s flick, it serves its purpose to psych people up for the season. Woodring sums up that type of inspiration outside these two films, in an episode of “No Days Off,” presented by the Whistle, leaving viewers with these simple, but wise, words:

“Go out there every day, do what you love, just shred.”

If you go to TGR…

What: Teton Gravity Research’s “Magic Hour”
When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12
Where: Wheeler Opera House, 320 E. Hyman Ave., Aspen
Tickets: $15 adults; kids 16 and younger, $7
Includes: Prize giveaways from TGR, YETI, Sierra Nevada, Atomic, Volkl, Mammut, Tincup Whiskey and a chance at the tour grand prizes, including a trip to Jackson Hole, an at-home editing package from Sierra Nevada, a YETI prize pack, custom skis or snowboards from Tincup Whiskey and a Mammut safety setup.
More info: wheeleroperahouse.com
Additional VIP screening: WhiSKI Series
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 15
Where: TACAW, 400 Robinson St., Basalt
Tickets: $70 members, $75 in advance, $85 day of show
Includes: Guided Tincup whiskey tasting, YETI + TGR swag bags, three months of TGR premium, athlete and production team Q&A, prize giveaways (see above) and VIP screening of ‘Magic Hour’
More info: tacaw.org

If you go to Matchstick Productions…

What: “Anywhere from Here”
When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10
Where: Wheeler Opera House
Tickets: $17 general admission; $34 VIP, which includes early entry and exclusive socializing with the athletes, priority seating and swag bag with North Face hoodie and Stanley gear
More info: wheeleroperahouse.com

Kai Jones in “Magic Hour.”
Nic Alegre
Parkin Costain in “Magic Hour.”
Nic Alegre