Adventure filmmakers Jonah and Noah Howell get around.
Choose Your Adventure, the latest release from Wasatch-based Powderwhore Productions, is a skiing variety show. Cast with a mixed bag of eclectic characters, the audience follows in their quests for brut champagne powder, which, during an underwhelming 2011-2012 ski season, takes them to exotic locations around the world.
In a little over an hour, the audience travels to Cerro Castillo, Chile; La Grave, France; the Antarctic Peninsula; Svalbard, Norway; Mount Foraker, Alaska; British Columbia, Canada; and the Wasatch Mountains in Utah.
“I think people are going to be surprised with the variety, with the diversity, of each segment,” says producer Jonah Howell. “That’s why we went with the choose-your-adventure theme — you never really know what’s coming next.”
But what truly gets the viewer’s attention are the salty backcountry skiers profiled in this film. The Howell brothers create a compelling ski film without Warren Miller’s production budget by placing a heavy emphasis on their characters’ stories. Just as much time is devoted to crusty backcountry veterans as is devoted to the big names in freestyle skiing.
In the film, we meet a fresh-powder pilgrim who has paid homage at almost every mountain where snow has landed on Earth. He says he has been skiing at least one day a month for 178 months, including when he was briefly hospitalized with a neck injury.
The camera is also invited inside the burrow of what must be some distant hobbit cousin living in the side of a snow-covered mountain. But it is obvious that one of their favorite characters is a Wasatch local who resembles a gold-rush era prospector.
We also catch up with the Carbondale-raised, evangelical free-heel skier Jake Sakson, who holds his own in alpine freestyle competitions in his telemark skis.
Like the Choose Your Own Adventure book series, you really can’t guess what’s coming next in this film. At one point, the audience is looking at panoramas of Utah, and moments later they are viewing a Soviet mining town in the arctic, abandoned since the 1970s.
But the film is not all Biography Channel in-depth profiles. Of course, there is enough snowgasmic, beautiful footage of skiers cutting through pristine virgin powder to leave you drooling for winter.
The Powderwhores tag along with Hugo Harrison dropping cliffs in British Columbia. We also join Chris Davenport getting “steezy,” and skiers blasting through deep powder with PY Leblanc.
Choose Your Adventure is the eighth annual ski film from Powderwhore Productions, which is based in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. The franchise has evolved from telemark-only, Wasatch centric short films to encompass a wide variety of stories in the backcountry.
In the end, this is a feature-length ski film that celebrates exotic locations, wild adventures and dedicated personalities writing their own stories in snow.
The film is currently touring 50 cities throughout North America. Along the Front Range, Choose Your Adventure is playing at 8 p.m. Nov. 1 at Bentgate Mountaineering in Golden, at 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 at Denver’s Oriental Theater and at 8 p.m. Nov. 8 at Asher Brewery in Boulder.