Sledders: the new videotape heroes 

Roops of Hazard 3 debuts at Garfinkel’s

WHAT: Video premiere: Roops of Hazard 3

WHERE: Garfinkel’s

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 7

The recent cold, wet nights have left a dusting of fresh snow on the area’s higher mountain tops. Snow sliders are waxing up their gear, and you can bet sledders are just as anxious to warm up their engines.

If you haven’t yet pulled the cover off your machine – or perhaps you never put it on – Whistler filmmaker, Dave Craig, is going to get you in the mood this Friday with the premiere of his latest release.

It may never be quite as popular as the snowboarding and skiing subcultures, but the local snowmobiling community is definitely on the grow. Mountainside parking lots outside Whistler Village are becoming more crowded as people are discovering there is more to winter in the valley than just Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains.

"It’s not really an alternative to buying a ski pass though," comments Craig. "Snowmobiling is hard to do in itself. In order to ski or board you really have to know what you’re doing on the snowmobile. And it’s enough fun on its own. You start leaving your board behind."

And the sled community is still small enough that it escapes the hype – and the lineups – of the mainstream snow sports, a point that has sent many die hard skiers and boarders screaming for smaller, but less-crowded hills.

"Snowmobiling is still pretty quiet. You recognize nine out of the 10 trucks in the parking lot," adds Craig.

And although that makes for wide open trails on big powder days, it also means a smaller audience and fewer video sales. That point doesn’t deter Craig, who goes to the extreme to capture some of the most exciting jumps and general craziness for the third sequel in his Roops of Hazard series.

"The sport is really progressing and unfolding. There are tricks performed on this video that have never been done before. There are jumps that are larger than ever before. It’s a really good example of how the sport is unraveling," Craig enthuses.

And don’t be surprised if you recognize your friends, neighbours or co-workers under those helmets. All of the on-screen talent is from the Sea to Sky corridor: Rich Carlson, B.J. Murray, Rob Alford and Tank, just to name a few. Although most would say good snow was hard to find last season, this Roops crew slices up waist deep pow (in secret locations, of course) with jaw-dropping antics.

There’s also a small section from the cameras of Redneck Fury – an American snowmobile vid that came out a few years ago. That production went under this year and offered up some of its Utah footage to Roops.

"At the time that I took it, I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough film. As it turns out, I have way too much," laughs Craig.

The video also proves that sledding isn’t just for the winter. Expect a section from this year’s Superhit summer snowmobile camp, where the riders launch into orbit. Real freeriding at its best.

Catch the first showing of Roops of Hazard 3 tonight (Sept. 7) at Garfinkel’s. The evening is also a fund-raiser for Roop’s star, Rich Carlson, who was seriously injured last winter. Carlson broke his back in a sled crash but is on the road to recovery. If you miss the premiere, check out the Roops Web site for video clips, photos and general chat at


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