Words by: Jason Kruk | Photos by: Angela Percival
The realization it was no longer a ski mission was disheartening. We were deep in the central coast mountains of BC to film a video piece with my sponsor of an attempt to climb and ski the line of my dreams. The plan I had so confidently pitched to the marketing crew in charge had completely fallen apart. How was it I had gotten myself into this situation?
Filming with high production value, successfully, in the big mountains requires either large amounts of money or a lot of luck. Before my career as a professional athlete took off, I supported my climbing habit by working for mainstream film and television.
The experience was hard on my soul, but it proved invaluable when it came time to produce my own short film projects. I know I sound naive, like the drunk guy at the party who swears to everyone he is dead sober, but is so clearly drunk to all (but himself). I was convinced my experience would allow me to wrap my head around the many moving parts of this shoot. There’s a first time for everything, however. I know we all came away having learned a lot.
You can imagine the awkward exchange between myself and my partner Paul as we sat perched on the side of a Himalayan-style ridge of gargoyled snow, our skis strapped to our packs, making slow, terrifying progress upward to a non-existent ski descent. The look in Paul’s eyes told me he had experienced enough. I had already asked too much of my friend and we needed to go down.
At first light the next morning I was bumped back onto the ridge just beyond our high point by a helicopter, while another buzzed around me, filming me climb solo to the summit with the latest gyro-stabilized camera system. Helicopters – the cause and solution to all our problems in the mountains this time.
“The plan I had so confidently pitched to the marketing crew in charge had completely fallen apart. How was it I had gotten myself into this situation?”
Laying out my speedwing canopy and clipping into my skis alone on the summit, I was overwhelmed with appreciation for my life and the experiences I am privileged to have in the mountains. Skiing from the summit and taking flight over the unskiable line stands as one of the raddest things I’ve ever done.
That’s not the story we were out there to tell with this one though. Instead choosing something more transparent and relatable. It’s the story of an adventurer, driven by curiosity and shut down by reality, but fully inspired to return again – this time with more knowledge than they had before.
“Laying out my speedwing canopy and clipping into my skis alone on the summit, I was overwhelmed with appreciation for my life and the experiences I am privileged to have in the mountains.”