Words by Dave Pires
Photos by Josh Anderson
The line outside of Evo is long. It stretches from a side door out to the street, around a corner, and down the sidewalk. Like any of the busy bars that share 36th street with the Seattle-based store, special people cut to the front to see what value their status might hold. Makeshift bouncers, as indifferent as the real thing, are willing to let you know that being on “The List” at the most anticipated ski movie premiere of the season means you stand in line like everyone else.
Inside Evo’s timber-framed confines, the early arrivals begin to form the uninterrupted line that would nervously shuffle past the poised pens of Sammy Carlson, Mike Henitiuk, Derek Spong, Chris Benchetler, Eric Pollard, Pep Fujas, Andy Mahre, and Tim Durtschi for the next two hours. These young men, unremarkable on almost any street in the Western world, are heroes to the people here tonight. All smiles, they autograph this season’s wall candy, glossy reminders that these regular humans are capable of the superhuman.
As the line outside shortens, and the line for posters flows onward, a new line for the beer tent sprouts from the shop’s main doors. A fully bearded Ryan Schmies floats through the crowd campaigning for Captain K2, and the young crew from local upstart ON3P Skis hustles around in full promotion mode. Before long the beer tent opens and Jib Jam, the first of the night’s four movies, is on.
the boys from ON3P hustle some product
Showcasing some of the world’s best up-and-coming skiers on massive park features, Jib Jam warmed-up the powder hungry Pacific Northwestern crowd for Jeff Thomas’ masterpiece, Journal.
Theory-3 Media's Jeff Thomas
Theory-3 Media’s latest is chock full of snorkel deep powder, and proves what a bunch of young and hungry skiers can accomplish with nothing more than determination, and their home turf. Journal is a complete checkup on the best young skiers in Canada, from Charley Ager and Josh Stack’s West Coast backcountry shenanigans, to Cedric Tremblay-Fournier, Max Hill, and Frank Raymond’s East Coast rail domination.
Poorboyz' Cody Carter
As Journal ends, the lights come up, and the raucous atmosphere of the beer tent invades the church-like calm of the store. A couple hours after they began signing posters, Poor Boyz’s Cody Carter calls the members of Nimbus Independent up to the top floor to take part in his second-favorite pastime, playing God. Gear rains down on the crowd, one of the night’s many ski raffles is drawn, and Fujas introduces his labor of love.
the quintessential gear toss
Emerging from underneath Eric Iberg’s massive wing, the Nimbus crew has once again accomplished something truly special. Hunting Yeti is simply the world’s best skiers doing exactly what they want to do. They are creative, fun, and do an exceptional job capturing a group of people going skiing. Ski movies almost always portray an ideal of blue skies, sunny days, and perfect powder. Hunting Yeti is raw skiing, purely as is, and for many skiers that is the ideal.
The final movie of the night is Reasons, Johnny Decesare’s triumphant return to skiing. The critically acclaimed film successfully reunites Poor Boyz’s old guard, and features some of the finest up-and-coming athletes in skiing, including Mike Henitiuk and Tim Durtschi. Reasons is a film founded on context, but after a few hours of drinking the ruckus isn’t confined to the beer tent anymore, and much of the athlete narration is hard to hear. Nonetheless all understandable signs point to a great movie, and as Durtschi ends the show with a bang, everyone is ready for the final gear storm of the night.
The successful premiere of a ski movie is a tried, tested, and true formula. Fresh movies, free product, and alcohol. With a great venue and positive people it’s almost impossible to botch. After the last pair of skis is given away, the happy crowd filters out into the street agreeing that some premieres are better than others, and Triple Threat is one of the best.