I love the mountains.
And I think there is something magnetic about mountain landscapes.
I’ve seen so many mountain films made in majestic locations featuring daring feats and extreme endeavors, but I wanted to do something in my own backyard of British Columbia that was a little different.
I worked for many years filming in the pro ski industry, and when I was on those shoots, I’d meet these amazing people who would give up everything to live or be in the mountains. They weren’t the type to be selling a product or hurling down a slope for the camera, but they had riveting life stories to share. This Mountain Life really started with a colleague who sat me down in the boot room after work one day and told me his story of being in an avalanche. He mentioned that his business partner Martina and her 60-year-old mother were attempting a ski-traverse of the Coast Mountains: a 6 month long trip that had been completed only once before and never by a duo. I couldn’t believe no one was documenting them yet. From there, one character led to another until we had 6 unique stories in the film.
There were a lot of logistics: helicoptering out to meet the women along their trip, rappelling on an ice wall, writing letters back and forth to the couple who lives off grid. And it was a lot of cold nights in tents; I learned to spoon with my camera so it would work the next day! We had a great camera assistant on each shoot who was essential who did everything from cooking meals and carrying the tent to melting snow for water, basically keeping me alive so I could lug camera gear and keep filming. I like to say that This Mountain Life is a mountain film for people who don’t watch mountain films.
Even though it has been winning festival awards (Best Snow Sports – Banff, Best Visuals – Kendal, Best Mountain Culture Film – Nordic Adventure), it is not about big airs, sponsorships or ski vertical. It is not even about the people you would normally think of as “mountain people”. It is about people with passion and drive and a singular sense of what they want from life. It’s the kind of film where you’ll laugh out loud and maybe even cry at the end; the kind where you want to go home and discuss the subjects at the dinner table with your friends. We live a very connected world, but our fundamental connection to nature is waning. The people in this film are following their hearts to what is truly inspiring.