When the Mountains Were Wild
Wanting to get away from the crowds, lifts and hullabaloo of Central Europe, five freeriders from Innsbruck, Austria, travel through the Balkans to the Albanian Alps. A sparsely populated region, known as the Valbona Valley, serves as their homebase as they skin, hike, snowshoe and billy goat around the area in search of lines seldom skied.
2016 Presentation: Travis Rice
As a native of Jackson, Wyoming, where his father was on ski patrol, Travis Rice has snowboarding in his blood. Still, he was an unknown outsider when, at 18, he showed up to his first major competition — Snowboard magazine’s Superpark contest in Mammoth — and blew everyone away by launching a backside rodeo across a 117-foot gap jump. That jaw-dropping feat set the tone for Rice’s career, and today the 33 year old is widely considered one of the most influential, talented and visionary snowboarders in the sport’s history. His athleticism is superhuman — he rides the steepest of Alaskan spines with the same precision and grace with which he executes tricks off enormous backcountry jumps and sticks medal-winning lines in the X Games. But what set Rice in his own stratosphere is more than athleticism. He is also part of the creative force behind the boundary-shattering films That’s It, That’s All and The Art of Flight — which represent a new era of craftsmanship in snowboard documentaries. In addition, he has shaped the evolution of snowboarding by pioneering new tricks and founding Supernatural, a backcountry freestyle competition in Canada that uses natural features in a way that’s never been done in snowboarding. His accolades are too numerous to list, but include National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, TransWorld’s Rider of the Year, X Games gold medalist and inaugural Supernatural champion. Rice has been working on his newest film, The Fourth Phase, since The Art of Flight was released in 2011. Rice will share his vision of adventure film making, snowboarding and some insider information from his current project with Red Bull Media House, The Fourth Phase, debuting worldwide on October 2, 2016.
Senior: 82 Winters in Telluride
Long before Telluride made its famous transition from mining hub to ski town, William “Senior” Mahoney skied here. As a boy growing up in the box canyon, he flew down snow-covered streets on two planks and took laps on the Town Park hill. As he grew older, he ventured far into the mountains to make turns in the high basins of the San Juans.
And as a miner himself, he recognized that the town was dying and needed a new economic foundation. That’s why he was one of the early proponents of building a ski resort in Telluride, working with John Zoline to plot the runs and later becoming the area’s first mountain manager.
This short portrait by Felt Soul Media offers a look into a bygone era in Telluride — when streets were unpaved and homes were cheap — and pays homage to a seminal skier and straight-talking man whose influence on the town is beyond compare.