A year ago there was talk Teton Gravity Research was going out of business. It was not as close as people made it out to be but they were at a cross roads and this amazing lifestyle they had created was now injeopardy. Some hard calls were made and some great workers had to be let go. The people who stayed were forced to take on more responsibility and carry the work load of multiple people.
Things had gotten away from them and although there last release “Lost and Found” was a great movie the people on the inside new that TGR could do better. In the words of TGR’s producer Josh Neilson, “it was time to step up, or step out.” Those who were left stepped it up in a big way. Camera men started hiking the pass before work to get in shape for the shooting season, new technology was purchased and a new energy was put into all aspects of the company.
Days like this is why TGR refused to close the doors and made the months of sleepless nights and endless hours at the office restructuring the company worth while. There is none better at “getting it done” in the mountains then my brother Todd.
On the hill where it mattered most it was clear from the start that whether you were a camera man, guide or rider you better be bringing your “A” game. Everyone fed of off each other and by the time we got to AK things were on a different level. I would find myself pacing on top of my linecontemplating a 20 foot air when I would watch Se th Morrison drop into his first line in days and throw 70 foot flip and stomp the crap out of it.
Josh and Todd putting the “jib arm” to use.
Now I had ridden with Seth before and had always been impressed but after a few days of this “off the couch” charging I had to ask what was up. He related his new intensity back to riding with Kye Petterson earlier in the year. He told me story after story off how Kye left it all on the table every run and every day filming. From the sounds of it, if Kye was not bruised and battered at the end of every day he was not trying hard, or in his words, he was being a pussy. As more riders showed up to AK with the same intensity they shared similar experiences about filming with Kye and there was a new tone among riders that if your not icing bruises at the end of the day then your not pushing it hard enough. Iguess the fact that most riders were now travelling wi th there own ice packs summed it up best.
Check out Seth’s two tracks in the middle. The big air was his first run in 5 days. He second “double skipper” line was out of a video game.
Whether I new it at the time or not I too was indirectly being pushed by Kye through the riders I was with. By the end of my trip I had lost three pairs of goggles in falls, gotten two bloody noses, hit my biggest air maybe ever, bruised a rib and later found out I had fractured my arm.
Jim “the Sarge” Conway assesses the snow in hopes of us getting us on the terrain in the background. He has been the head guide for TGR for the last 10 years and is a keyingredient to the program. Together we continue to evolve our protocol in the mountains that safely gets us riding the goods soon after storms. This year Jim developed “Excalibur” the cornice cutting weapon that allowed us to do the ultimate slope tests by dropping huge cornices on slopes we wanted to ride. Mad props to Sarge!
Now I do not know what the end result of all this new focus will have on the final product but after viewing the latest TGR teaser, http://www.tetongravity.com/undertheinfluence/tgr_uti_trailer_medium.mov it is clear TGR is on the up and up and stronger then ever before. Regardless of the out come of this years movie it was a pleasure being surrounded but a bunch of people who were totallycommitted to taking things to the next level. TGR’s, “Under the Influence,” will be released this fall. Pick up a copy at www.tetongravity.com
Roner paying the price of progression. Check out sick POV footage at www.erikroner.com
I am fortunate to work with a lot of amazing production companies and the one thing that stands out most about my time with TGR is there level of passion and stoke they have for the mountains. From the beginning they have totally committed themselves to setting up an environment that provides a setting for riders to safely charge as hard as possible. They are also not afraid to put the cameras down and get some themselves.