This is one of those rare years in which Warren Miller’s annual ski movie doesn’t include footage from the powder-covered Wasatch Mountains.
But that doesn’t mean the Beehive State isn’t well represented in “Line of Descent,” the 68th film assembled by Warren Miller Entertainment to stoke excitement for the upcoming winter with majestic shots of skiers and boarders enjoying bounteous powder in lovely locations around the world.
Eight Utahns are among the athletes whose skills and personalities are exhibited in the movie, which will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. Four of those performers — Kalen Thorien and Kaylin Richardson of Park City, Salt Lake County’s Ty Peterson and Jeremy Jensen of Logan — are scheduled to attend the opening.
Jensen is the founder of Grassroots Powdersurfing, a company that makes binding-free snowboards designed to allow riders to “return to the roots of snowboarding and embrace the original desire to surf the mountains in the same way surfers ride waves and skateboarders ride streets, completely binding-free and hands-free.”
He traveled to the remote Mustang Powder Lodge in British Columbia to show how enjoyable these boards can be when manipulated under foot by talented adventure seekers like Scotty Arnold from Park City and brothers Neil and Ian Provo from Oakley.
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling to be up here with the boys, making a movie and showing the world what’s possible on these boards and how much fun you have,” said Ian Provo, whose big bushy beard gets covered with snow on deep-powder runs.
The powder supply was similar but the setting distinctly different for Richardson, a U.S. Olympian at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games, and Salt Lake County resident Marcus Caston, who ventured to Norway for their segment in Miller’s latest film.
Richardson and Caston were shown a little of what the Scandinavian country has to offer by local ski patroller Linda Haaland. They were impressed.
“Norway is one of the more unique places I’ve ever been,” said Caston. “You just don’t get these jagged mountain peaks right to the water anywhere else. It’s so beautiful.”
“There are few things that make me feel more alive than dropping off of a ridge and seeing the fjord coming closer and closer,” Richardson added.
Closer to home, Peterson said he “felt like I was taking a trip back in time” as he and ski partner George Rodney, from Basalt, Colo., explored the high country of southwestern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. They skied the steep slopes rising above the old mining town of Silverton, whose resort features a single chairlift that offers access to expert-only skiing and riding.
The other venue highlighted in Utah-related segments is Beartooth Pass, a 70-mile long stretch of highway that links Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park and Montana.
When the road opened after being closed all of last winter, Park City’s Thorien and Mike “Bird” Shaffer rode motorcycles and did some cross-country skiing to reach areas where they hooked into kites and flew above the “Alpine tundra landscape,” seeking just the right ridges for spring skiing.
“Line of Descent” will be shown 23 times in Utah this fall. Tickets cost $23. For the Salt Lake City premiere, ticket buyers get several additional perks, including a $45 lift ticket at Solitude Mountain Resort, a two-for-one lift ticket deal from Snowbasin Resort above Ogden, and $50 off a pass for the Mountain Collective, a group that includes Alta, Snowbird and Snowbasin resorts.
Line of Descent
The 68th Warren Miller ski movie, “Line of Descent,” will make stops throughout Utah during the next three weeks. More information at www.skinet.com/warrenmiller.
- Salt Lake City, Abravanel Hall — Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 6 and 9 p.m.
- Orem, Scera Grand Theatre — Oct. 17-18, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 19, 6 and 9 p.m.
- Park City, Eccles Theatre— Oct. 20, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m.; Oct. 21, 6 and 9 p.m.
- Ogden, Peery’s Egyptian Theater — Oct. 24-25, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 26, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m.
- Cedar City, Larry H. Miller Megaplex — Oct. 30, 6 and 7:30 p.m.
- St. George, Larry H. Miller Megaplex — Nov. 1, 6 and 7:30 p.m.
- Logan, Mount Logan Middle School — Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 4, 3 and 7:30 p.m.