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5 Ski Movies to Fuel Your Stoke

Prime the pump for ski season.

By: Sara Sheehy + Save to a List

Ski movies are a fall tradition. Ever since Warren Miller set up camp in a Sun Valley parking lot and starting filming his friends, adrenaline-fueled powder films have been a mainstay of the pre-season stoke.

Put the right combination of reckless abandon, Joie de Vivre, and deep powder on the screen and every skier will be waxing the boards and lining up for the first chair. From the historical to the innovative, here are five ski films sure to prime the pump on winter. 

Claim - The self-billed "Greatest Ski Movie of All Time," Matchstick Production's Claim had some big shoes to fill. The combination of self-deprecating humor and unbelievable lines has all the makings of a great. Claim was also the last feature ski film to star the legendary Shane McConkey, who almost singlehandedly popularized freeskiing. To watch him doing what he loved most is a reminder to us all to get out there and get after it.

Afterglow - I first saw Sweetgrass Production's night segment in the film Signatures. There was something eerily calming about watching illuminated skiers float through deep powder. For Afterglow, the crew at Sweetgrass turned the volts up...way up. This film gave a new look to the industry of ski films. Big hits, deep powder, and steep lines, expertly lit and skied hard. It certainly doesn't hurt that the segment features a who's who of freeskiers, including Pep Fujas, Eric Hjorleifson, and Daron Rahlves. 

Dream Factory - Dream Factory is a postcard to skiing in Alaska. The filmmakers at Teton Gravity Research got their start as heli-ski guides for Doug Coombs, and their love for the varied Alaksa terrain is on full display in this film. From scouting lines in a bush plane and the founding of the Wolrd Extreme Skiing Championships to Sage Cattabriga-Alosa's hair raising lines, this movie follows Alaska's rise into freeskiing fame.

Steep and Deep - This one goes back a ways, to a time of skinny skis, neon onesies, and mohawks. Warren Miller takes viewers on a world tour of ski destinations from Canada to New Zealand. Miller is the granddaddy of ski films, and Steep and Deep is one of his earliest forays into what would become freeskiing. Throw in a little cheesy humor, and you have a classic ski film. 

Miller's love of skiing and winter was front and center in every one of his movies. For many, his ski movies started a lifelong love of the sport. Get on board by watching this piece of ski history.

Streif: One Hell of a Ride - 88 mph on a sheet of ice. Most of us can't even imagine what this would feel like, and most of us don't want to find out. Streif: One Hell of a Ride explores what it takes to compete on the World Cup's most dangerous course. The Steif on Mount Hahnenkamm makes and breaks the most talented ski racers in the world. This film shows the discipline and courage necessary for a professional downhill racer and the history of this legendary run.

The best ski films go beyond creating a sense of awe. Sure, big lines, high speeds, and first descents are amazing, but it's about welcoming in the winter. These films fuel the stoke to get out there, go hard, and have fun. 

Cover photo courtesy of Sam Watson

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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