Powderhoes’ Latest Flick — Humor and Stoke

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 12, 2010      

It is movie time in the ski universe. Trailers for just about everything are easy to find, so I’m inclined to focus on film makers who emphasize human power over helicopters. Sweetgrass Productions is one such, but they’re not releasing a backcountry skiing flick this fall, just a festival cut of their film for next autumn. Chris Davenport’s film Australis also emphasizes muscle power, review coming.

And then we have those telewhackers from Utah, the Powderhoes, who also eschew aviation fuel (at least once they’re at base camp). The powder boys’ name is of course actually spelled like the world’s oldest profession, but I hesitate to write it out here on the fear that Google will re-categorize WildSnow and you’ll have to sign some kind of over 18 disclaimer before you can get into the site.

On second thought perhaps the disclaimer is a good idea, since “Television” includes a load of humor that wee lads and lasses might find confusing. But it’s only PG at the most, so if you want to munch popcorn with your 6-year-old while you check out things such as the “Brogaine” commercial, have at it. What is Brogaine, you ask? Let’s just say it is a simpler and quicker way to go bro. You’ll have to watch the flick for the whole story.

Highlights of “Television” include long and enjoyable segment covering expedition backcountry skiing in the Revelation Mountains, a diminutive but nonetheless impressive subrange of the grand Alaska Range. Andrew McLean is along on that one, joined by telegenic telemarkers such as Nick Devore. From the looks of some of the skiing, they found lines that were actually pretty steep — not just filmed to appear that way.

Speaking of the skiing, the tele-whackers in “Television” charge hard and nearly match the mind blowing stuff you’d see in a Matchstick or TGR film. Nonetheless, I found myself fast-forwarding through some of the skiing. Perhaps I’ve been jaded by the stunt flicks, or perhaps knowing the skiers were on telegear wasn’t as much a turn-on to me as it would be for a telemarker. I will say that some of the lines are beautiful, and the powder-in-your-face Wasatch segments are simply classic, hearkening back to days of yore when historical flicks such as “Last of the Ski Bums” blew minds with over the head powder skiing footage that changed the sport. (And since most of the powder chewing segments are in slow-mo, all my fast forward button did was make them ski normal speed. Film maker Noah Howell probably planned it that way, the sly dog.)

What’s interesting about both Powderhoes and Sweetgrass is that they constantly attempt to make the UPHILL exciting (or at least aesthetic). They almost pull it off. Yet slogging is pretty tedious and sometimes downright boring, so setting upbeat music to someone walking uphill on skis can only go so far.

Indeed, we should have a contest between the human powered film makers, with a prize for the best uphill sequence. I’ll have to talk to 5 Points Film Festival about that. Seriously. With some incentive I’ll bet something can be done with camera angles, music, and perhaps a more earthy style of shooting and editing that could make the uphill super compelling. I mean, how about a close up of sweat dripping off some guy’s chin? Noah? Nick? You guys up for a little friendly competition?

Powderhoes are known for their campy humor. You’ve got to respect these guys for putting it on the line and trying to interject some levity in the sometimes all to serious and overly “significant” presentation that some ski films have. Other companies try to do the same, of course (think Saucer Boy), but Powderhoes goes for it. Reality of humor is not everyone laughs at the same thing, so by having plenty of vignettes sprinkled throughout the film, just about anyone will get a good chuckle or better. Yeah, brogaine, will it grow hair on top of my head as well as my face? Noah, pray tell.

Wildsnow two thumbs up. Check it out.



14 Responses to “Powderhoes’ Latest Flick — Humor and Stoke”

  1. Ed C October 12th, 2010 9:53 am

    Another film worth a look (at least for your snowboarding readers) is Deeper from TGR and Jeremy Jones. Human powered (except for a bush plane and a boat to Antarctica) snowboarding in various locations.

    Trailer here: http://www.tetongravity.com/deeper/

  2. Matt Kinney October 12th, 2010 11:12 am

    Too bad Noah and the team took the “candy cane” ride in Valdez. 🙄 It really wasn’t necessary and I’m still trying to figure out why. Conditions were stellar for skinning as they seemed to enjoy that while visiting for a few of the days. Base access by a heli for a 1500′ boot a mile from the highway for a movie shot? They could have done Valdez pure but for some reason they did not. Peer pressure likely as the junkshow Tailgaters ovewhelmed the area with carbon haze and corn syrup consumption. Noxious but avoidable.

    The human powered pump of the movie looks good and I have always enjoyed seeing good teleskiers with PH films. The picture that opens the trailer is near the Dimond Couloir trailhead. I have walked that guardrail many times with skins on and off.

    Gotta go ski…..later

  3. Lou October 12th, 2010 12:10 pm

    Ed, I’m really looking forward to Deeper, even though I’m not a snowboarder. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. T October 12th, 2010 1:08 pm

    Was just watching that trailer. In Leavenworth, WA this Saturday there will be a premier, ….tele movie, free beer and during the town’s Oktoberfest (3 beer tents)! If you live on the other side of the Cascades like me, be sure to sleep in your car…

  5. Caleb Wray October 12th, 2010 3:20 pm

    I for one agree Lou. I liked the movie. The TV parody hit and missed with me though. The Brogaine skit reminded me a little of our Beaver Buzz and Hemp Plus posts from the road trip, did see our name in the credits though. And footage of people actually going uphill gets me as stoked for winter as anything.

    I mean I own and watch my fair share of TGR and MSP dvd’s every year about this time, but I am getting a little jaded to watching skiers hurl their carcasses off of ever increasing sized cliff, backwards, upside-down……I am finally getting old enough to realize that I am not and will not ever be Seth Morrison, freak of nature.

    But watching Television, I actually thought to myself a couple of times, wow that was cool, and I can do that or I have done that. That gets me fired up. Revelations 2011?

    And a B+ on the cinematography. Pretty high score for a ski movie.

  6. Joel October 12th, 2010 5:32 pm

    Deeper was everything a gliss mountaineering movie should be….his turning style is not the prettiest, but I’ve got loads of respect for his variety of ascents & descents. The expected AK footage was great, however different in that he set up base camp w/ such venerable veterans as Tom Burt. After riding out a week + long storm in the tent, he set up a bivy high up a selected route & just killed an amazing line the next morning. He goes to Cham & ends up having to slide down some ice while on belay (not pretty), and gets turned around on another route.

    It all felt very real, similar to what any gliss mountaineer experiences. Well worth checking out…promise most anyone who is a fan of ski mountaineering will thoroughly enjoy it. Go check it out.

  7. Joel October 12th, 2010 5:36 pm

    Blizzard of Ahhhs is still the best movie made – period.

  8. Njord October 12th, 2010 5:44 pm

    I love the smell of JP-8 in the morning!

  9. mtnrunner2 October 12th, 2010 11:44 pm

    Nice ski p*rn to get the season rolling. And there was more skiing than falling. I like that 🙂

    I enjoyed Davenport’s Australis quite a bit. I’m sure I will never ski with him, but it occurred to me: if one does, and *he* starts to get nervous about skiing a certain line, holy cow. Watch out.

  10. Simon Christy October 13th, 2010 2:57 am

    Hey Lou, great blog –

    In the spirit of sharing pre-season stoke, I humbly offer from the dark depths of a cave deep in the heart of France:


    As Monty Python might say… “and now for something completely different”!

  11. Lou October 13th, 2010 5:43 am

    Hey Caleb, I can’t find the Beaver Buzz vid, can you find it and leave a link to it in a comment? A lot of people are visiting WildSnow now who didn’t track our Denali trip 100%, so we should post a reminder now and then.

  12. Caleb Wray October 14th, 2010 11:03 am

    Link to said video post from our trip up north.


  13. Derek Weiss October 14th, 2010 2:26 pm

    Per the “uphill” segment:

    Seeing a booter up an AK spine that, and then turns down an AK spine means a lot more to me than just seeing the turns down the spine (TGR, MSP). Knowing the P-hos booted up those line before skiing them adds to the “wow” factor for me. Also, seeing a nice skin track in the corner of the frame next to the huge turns down lines also adds to the asthetic factor, at least for me.

  14. Lou October 14th, 2010 5:46 pm

    Derek, I totally agree!

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