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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Despite a rising number of crews and dwindling amount of unexplored terrain, the attitude out there remains pretty light.

"There is a bit of competition and animosity between some snowboard crews," Campos explains, "and probably the same on the skiing side but between the two sports it's pretty friendly. I called up Malcolm for the Puyehue trip and he hooked me up with Jorge and all the info. Skiing and snowboarding are still pretty segregated, especially in other parts of the world."

Regardless of having one plank or two, however, Whistler riders seem to be respected across the globe. "That is one of the coolest things," Mike Douglas says. "When people hear you are from Whistler they get these stars in their eyes and say, 'one day I wanna go...' This town is held in such high acclaim in the global ski community."

The world comes to the Sea to Sky, but make no mistake, our greatest export is raw talent. Followed closely by style, balls, hype, and a serious hankering for après.

"Canadian riders and Whistler's big mountain freestyle is very respected all over the world," Campos adds. "Except in other parts of BC, especially the Kootenays. They're down on our scene out there but our terrain is the best in the world. You can't argue that."

Of, course, it's not all dudes jetsetting around the globe breaking hearts and busting pillowlines.

"I used to spend months on the road and I loved it," says world-traveling, X-Game-winning, Olympic halfpipe team member, skiing legend and Squamish resident Sarah Burke. "But now I really need to come home, even if for just a day." Freshly married, Sarah intends to limit her contests this season and do more filming and sledding locally.

Snowboarder Helen Schettini has it even more dialed in. She traveled and competed at a world junior level (and confirms that, "Yes, France is amazing") but these days she'll do one or two trips a year and film locally the rest of the season.

"Mostly I am home," Helen says. "This is the Mecca of backcountry and sledding. I can ride all day then cook healthy meals for myself and sleep in my own bed every night. You can't beat that."



With the best terrain in their own backyards and jobs travelling the globe where do Whistler's nomadic athletes and filmmakers go for their own holidays? Almost all respond with the same answer - they surf, or they stay home.

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