"A Skier's Journey"
Currently, most of us #stayathome. We would like to make sure that you do not get bored – so we looked through our Banff archives and found several Banff Film Tour classics for you to pass the time at home.
This time, we wold like to take you on an imaginary skiing trip – around the world. The "A Skier's Journey" series was produced and directed by Jordan Manley who accompanied the free skiers Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots on their powder adventures far away from the big buzz of well-known ski resorts.
"Iran: A Skier's Journey" was part of the Banff Tour 2017 and, as well as the other episodes about Iceland, China and many more, can be watched online:
Banff Tour 2017
“Should we go?” Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots decide, indeed, they should. Upon arriving in Iran, they are welcomed with profound warmth, stunned by the immense beauty of the landscape and culture. Threaded through Tehran’s bustling bazaars to Isfahan’s dazzling mosques, the two skiers get a glimpse at the complex dichotomy that divides public and private lives in Iran. As journalist Elaine Sciolino writes, “Iran can be dazzling, and light-filled, a reflection of its complexities; but it can also be cold, confusing, and impenetrable.” To travel to Iran is a reminder of the virtues of travel itself. Nothing is as it first appears. At private ski chalets atop slopes of the Alborz and Zagros mountains, rules and customs relent.
Skiing as sport is in it’s infancy in China, a phenomenon of the country’s exploding middle class. As a means of survival, however, it is thousands of years old, a stone age hunter-gatherer technology born in the Altai mountains where China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Siberia merge. On a vast trajectory that spans 11,000km of Northern China, Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots touch down into the rich past and dizzying future of these two respective Chinese ski cultures. As one rapidly expands, they find the other is at risk of disappearing.
In Iceland's rough and remote Westfjords region, Chad Sayers, Forrest Coots, and Chad Manley step back in time to revisit a way of life that lasted 1000 years. With the guidance of local friends Siggi Jonsson and Runar Karlsson, they traverse the storied landscape via sailboat, kayak, and ski, exploring what it would have been like to survive there for so many generations. Each ski run begins and ends with seaweed underfoot, while waterfalls, lichen-clad couloirs, and stories of humans past make up the in-between.
For travellers, life on the road ultimately winds to an end, and the compass points towards home. In the series finale, after excursions through ski cultures across the globe, Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots go back to the beginning - British Columbia. Embarking on a 3 week expedition, they boat, bushwack, ski, and packraft the spine of the Coast mountains. From interior plateau, steep chutes and over the Homathko Icefield, to the lush, carpeted coastal inlets of the Pacific coast. What is the meaning of home? A cast of characters help them understand what that term truly means.