One of my absolute favorite fall traditions is watching ski movies to get pumped for the ski season ahead. They are inspiring, cinematically stunning, and honestly just a blast. Every year, I check out the premiere schedule for Teton Gravity Research’s film tours to see a premiere live, and every year, I always get more pumped than the last.
So lo and behold, here is my power ranking for my favorite ski movies that ALWAYS, WITHOUT FAIL, get me excited for the upcoming season.
The Art of Flight
If you only have time for one ski movie to get you pumped for the season, you are doing it wrong. Sorry, not sorry – I don’t make the rules, I just enforce ’em. But, if you are okay with doing it wrong and only have time for one ski movie to get you pumped for the season, make sure it is Art of Flight. This movie is, hands down, the best ski movie I have ever seen. It is inspirational, heart-warming, and funny! The cinematography created in capturing these remote locations is absolutely stunning. As an added bonus, Art of Flight has the best soundtrack ever.
I’m not sure if this should be a considered a “ski movie” or rather a documentary about the legendary Shane McConkey’s life. Shane McConkey was a competitive racer, extreme skier, a filmmaker, and was famous for combining base jumping with skiing. Not only was McConkey a talented skier, but he was also a talented ski designer, essentially changing big-mountain skiing as we knew it back in the early 2000s. This documentary is both inspiring and heart-wrenching.
Watch the trailer here.
Ode To Muir
Ode to Muir is a film by Jeremy Jones that features his and Elena Hight’s ski-touring journey throughout the John Muir Wilderness in the Sierra. This movie is much more than a ski film though – it’s a call to action. Ode to Muir examines the effect that climate change has on our mountains and our ability to ski them – and, most importantly, it encourages its viewers to get out there and vote. The scenery is, of course, stunning, and it’s awesome to watch Jeremy and Elena get out there and experience the Sierra in such a rugged way. Their chemistry is unmatchable, and I finished the film feeling inspired both on the mountain and at the polls.
Way of Life
Way of Life holds a spot on the power ranking if only because it was the first ski movie that I saw, and I saw it at the premiere at Canyon Lodge in Mammoth during pre-ski season. Spoiler alert – there is a big ass Mammoth feature, and the energy in the room was ELECTRIFYING from the second they started that feature. Aside from the pure nostalgia, the movie shows off some great skiing, beautiful locations, and an awesome soundtrack. Plus, who doesn’t like hearing professional ski bums drunkenly explain why they love ski towns? Winner of a movie all around.
Watch the trailer here.
What are some of your favorite ski movies? Drop them in the comments below!
And don’t forget to put those ski maps in the freezer…