September 15, 2011 Features & Images » Feature Story

Lights, camera, passport 

Whistler's growing winter-sport film industry shows off the best in talent and terrain... but the question for the ultimate shot requires tenacity, creativity and thousands of air miles

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Shin Campos, longtime local and a living legend in Canadian snowboarding, took a snowboard film expedition into Puyehue shortly after the Sherpas left and encountered similar, if not worse, weather conditions.

"Everything is decided by weather and it can get frustrating," Campos says. "We waited nine days in a super-rustic cabin for a one-day window... and it was amazing. The crater is a mile across and the runs were about 750 vert. We did probably five lines each. It was so unique to ride these gnarly spines on the inside of a crater and all end up meeting in the middle."

Nine days with six dudes hunkered into a hand-built cabin without electricity is when the aforementioned baselayer issues can come into play. "I usually bring two or three pairs though," Campos says. "These days I like to stay clean."

These days Shin Campos is a producer and owner of Whistler Creek Productions but he spent over ten years touring the globe as a pro rider. Getting older, he still appreciates the nomadic, snow-chasing lifestyle but says it definitely comes with challenges.

"Once you have a family, a wife, it gets tougher," he says. "Crazy cell phone bills from calling home or once you've been on the road with someone for more than two weeks, regardless of who it is, you start to feel over it."

Don't mistake honesty for whining though. Everyone admits the good outweighs the bad and that travelling the world to snowboard or ski for a living will always beat unclogging toilets in the Whistler nightclubs or working the Walmart register on crying baby day.

"Almost every trip you can find a real positive," Campos says. "My first time in Russia was memorable, heading out to Mt Elbrus - the highest mountain in Europe - and driving from Sochi, sixteen hours through like 30 or 40 armed checkpoints. It was the Wild West out there. Romania was cool too. We met the guy with the first snowmobile in Romania and taught him how to ride tandem. To do this as a career is really amazing."

But does the Journey ever get old?

"I've been to Japan 25 times," says Mike Douglas, "and for a while I was burning out, going four times a year. But after not being there for a few years I am definitely going back this winter."

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