Today’s release of Big Picture’s Lite Years is certainly bittersweet. The crew of close friends have announced that after three seasons of the greatest backcountry jib footage ever dropped, they are moving on. This is apparently the last Big Picture project.
If this is to be their curtain call, then it certainly is their magnum opus. Last winter was an absolute banger in North America and it shows. The snow is deeper and the shots more plentiful than ever before. You can tell that if the guys were going out, they wanted to do it with a bang and that the conditions decided to play ball too.
I’m not going to spoil the intro, but it’s a fitting beginning of the end for a crew that has brought so much to skiing. Logan the elder’s (Sean’s) production and filming skills have been improving constantly to the point where he’s one of - if not the best - backcountry filmers in the game. And, as always, the music choice is spot on.
Now, onto the actual moving pictures of skiing. Expanding the crew to five adds a number of new flavours to the backcountry feast that Big Picture bring to the table. Mike King joins the mix for the first time and while I’m not generally a big fan of how 'no poles in the pow looks' (despite regularly rocking it myself thanks to perennially fucked wrists/thumbs and Idea being my favourite movie of all time), he throws some interesting axes, tweaks his grabs nicely and has a bouncy style that’s great to watch. I prefer his stuff where he grabs some sticks, but in both guises he rips hard and deserves to both be more well known and to pick up a proper ski sponsor post-Revision.
There isn’t quite as much Tanner Rainville as you’d want, but when is there ever. What shots he does have are enough of a reminder that he still lays a claim to being the most stylish skier on the planet. And then there’s Parker and Chris, the headline acts of the crew. In a sense, you know what to expect and you’d be right. It’s insanity from start to finish from two of the best backcountry freestylers skiing has ever seen, skiing the biggest stuff they have to date. It took me a few watches and a look back at older Big Picture output to truly appreciate how good this movie is, but we’re verging on the BE Inspired of pow skiing here.
There’s one rider I haven’t mentioned yet though, and that’s the ever-elusive Duncan Adams. Having watched Faction’s This Is Home and Lite Years back-to-back, there is no question in my mind that he is one of, if not the, most underappreciated skiers on the planet. Here he is arguably the standout among this cast of the greatest powder jibbers on the planet, crushing big lines and stomping ridiculous tricks at massive spots.
I’m being careful here not to spoil anything specific because the movie deserves a clean slate. It also deserves multiple run-throughs on a big screen until you understand all the intricacies of how stupidly good it really is. Lite Years is out now so book some time off in your day to sit down, watch the movie, and then watch it again because it’s up there with the very best in ski porn. And while you’re doing so, be thankful for the Big Picture. They've produced hours of incredible skiing entertainment in their short history, and if this is the end, that should never be forgotten.
Lite Years releases for free, tomorrow.