Tales of catastophe, sex and squalor from the Alpine Underbelly...

Belle de Neige

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Ski Movies: Cut the crap and ski, bitches

It's that time of year when, disillusioned by (and for some strange reason, also surprised by) the fact that, yes, nothing's changed, the weather in England is still as shite as it always was, it's still pissing with fucking rain, we all start watching ski and snowboard movies. It's part of the yearly cycle we all go though - particularly those of us in denial about wanting to do another ski season. The 'I'm not going back again this year' Clan. The 'I really need to move on with my life' Types. Yes. You people, who will be busily applying for every shit chalet job you can find come the even worse weather in October, when the novelty of the office job you've been holding down for six months wears off and it hits you, once again, that this could be it for the rest of your life.

If you're sitting at work, and this is you. Here's something to keep you occupied on your lunch break today:

Anything involving Shane McConkey aside, though, a word about the ski/snowboard movie; a thrilling and wonderful, modern phenomenon. If you’ve never watched one of these then let me just paraphrase for you: You are generally in for an hour and a half of gawping at a Canadian trust fund kid, with unlimited access to Red Bull helicopters, skating down sheer rock faces the width of a pencil on outsized lollipop sticks and living to tell the tale. This is absolutely mind-bending to watch, but unfortunately you also have to (at the behest of the director) put up with a lot of over-indulgent bollocks philosophizing during the interview sections, with people like Travis Rice going on about how super stoked he is about his ridiculously fortunate existence.

Well, lucky fucking him.
 There are a number of stock phrases you will encounter:

‘It was totally super sweet’
‘I realized, I’d like, tapped into a new energy source, man’
‘This is it - this is what life’s all about’
‘It just felt right, man. It felt like destiny’
‘I’m totally inspired to ski new lines and push the boundaries’

Everything that is said in a ski/snowboard film, pretty much revolves around a variation on one of these themes. 

My personal feeling on this is that since not all of us were lucky enough to be born on a mountain with a golden ski secreted niftily up our rectums we don’t really want to hear your wanky drivel about the fact that it’s all you ever do. We are already jealous enough. Yes, I’m sure you are ‘super stoked’ about ‘living simply’. Except how is owning tens of thousands of dollars worth of ski kit and having enough money to fuel a private jet to take you to Patagonia, living simply? 

Listen you lucky mother fuckers – it could have been me, if only I’d been born in Jackson Hole instead of Cuckfield. It could be you up to your eyes in beouf bourgignon and soap suds every winter just to get a look in. So, do me a favour. Stop talking and just ski, bitch. Make me go oooooh, and ahhhhh with your crazy tricks. I’m not interested in your philosophical stance on life. I don’t understand how you do what you do – I’ll give you that. It’s bloody amazing. But believe me I get why…. So please, spare me the drivel about this all being the meaning of life. I just want to see you pull a cork 580 off the north face of the Eiger in the middle of an avalanche, land it and ski out completely unscathed. That will make my day. Oh yes, and thank you very much by the way. I’m loving your work.