Words & photos by Julie Weinberger
It’s that time of year again: One movie premiere after another. Around two weeks ago, it was the TGR world premiere in Jackson, then the Level 1/4bi9 show in Salt Lake, then MSP in Boulder and then Level 1 again in Denver. This wasn’t my plan for nearly half of September and early October, but I just moved from Boulder to Jackson, and what the hell else am I going to do before it snows? So, I decided to keep on keeping on and head to Aspen for the fourth installment of The Meeting.
Stoked on their NEPSA checks.
Thursday night kicked off with the NEPSA awards. Once Chris Davenport and Radio Boardshop’s Travis MacLean introduced the theme of entourage in drag (I think they were supposed to be pro hoes), the films hit the screen. Whether the film took a serious look at who we ski with as our entourage or was a spoof of it, all films were well put together and a joy to watch.
Ever think you’d see Chris Davenport in a dress?
Kiffor Berg’s NEPSA film ended with Sumo, so he brought it on stage in a live performance.
Mike Cuseo, who took second place, and was voted the fan favorite, put together a lovely film in memory of Aspen resident John Nicoletta who died in a fall at the Alyeska big mountain comp in April. Going off the “I know that guy” scenario, he chronicled his story of Nicoletta. Since the crowd was mostly filled of friends and locals, everyone was cheering in celebration of Nicoletta. Winner Pat Sewell’s film also had clips of Nicoletta, and was dedicated to him and fellow Aspen snowboarder Wallace Westfeldt who died in the Highlands backcountry just a week before. While these were sobering reminders, the crowd cheered in celebration of their lives.
From NEPSA, we moved on over to Belly Up for the highly anticipated Tech9ine show. But, we had to sit through the D&E shop fashion show first. After several Red Bull Vodkas courtesy of my free drink bracelet, Tech9ine hit the stage with a bang, rocking the house until closing.
Pep Fujas signs a shirt at the Hunting Yeti show.
Hey John Spriggs!
Then, it was time to do it all over again on Friday and Saturday. Reasons, Hunting Yeti, Uniquely (Oakley’s all women’s film), That’s It, That’s All (Brain Farm), Turbo, Such is Life, Down With People (Mackdawg), Double Decade (Mackdawg), The Massive, Claim, The Bluebird Movie (Bluebird Films) and No Correct Way (Rome) all played over the two nights to packed venues of locals and industry people alike.
Mark Abma and Pep Fujas
Where did his dress go? Chris Davenport signing some shirts.
On Saturday morning, around 30 people from varying walks of freeskiing from athletes to event planners gathered at the Sky Hotel to discuss the unification of contests. Such competitions have generally been run separately from one another with little talk between organizers and athletes. The session disclosed what the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, a new group that will speak on behalf of athletes, will do for events and athletes including organization, media attention, judging, rider rankings, a world tour and the eventual bid to the Olympics. We also got a peek at the winter contest schedule, and everything looks planned out much better than in past years with minimal contest overlap. The AFP is moving pretty fast right now, so expect to see more and more on what’s going on in the near future.
DJ Mel spinning on Saturday night
This is the result of trying to take pictures after too many Red Bull Vodkas
Pep Fujas, Tom Wallisch and Anna Borgman
It’s like a Where’s Waldo puzzle. Tom Wallisch, Tanner Rainville and Grete Eliassen all on the floor.