Between its epic powder and the awe-inspiring peaks, the Tetons are hugely popular in the ski flick scene. No surprise, then, that Jackson Hole is home to big-name ski film companies such as Teton Gravity Research and Storm Show, as well as a variety of smaller name filmmakers as well. Amazing athletes who have serious ski and snowboard prowess live here, too. Bottom line? Jackson Hole is a hotspot for producing world-class ski films, to the delight of the audiences who love them.
So, without further ado, here are five of our favorite Jackson Hole ski movies. Don't be surprised if they come with an irrepressible urge to grab your skis or snowboard and hit the slopes.
1. Pretty Faces
Pro big-mountain skier Lynsey Dyer wanted to show what female athletes could do, so she set out to create a female-centric ski film called Pretty Faces.
The idea came about after Dyer realized 40 percent of skiers are women and women view 30 percent of adventure films, but only 14 percent of last season's ski film athletes were female (up from 9 percent the season before). Wanting to turn this trend around, she formed her own production company, Unicorn Picnic Productions, to produce the film, which she hopes will inspire young female skiers.
"I wanted to give them their Blizzard of Ahhs, Ski Movie or High Life, but done in a way that also shows the elegance, grace, community and style that is unique to women in the mountains,” she writes on her production company's website.
How To Re-Enact It: For your own estrogen-fueled inspiration, join the Jackson Hole Babe Force for one of their ski days at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, held throughout the winter season.
2. The Big One
Jackson Hole is the epicenter of Teton Gravity Research's The Big One, which highlights 10 years of the best ski and snowboard inspiration in their homebase of Jackson. This film includes coverage of the Jackson Hole Aerial Tram, “Sick” Rick Armstrong reporting on the “all-time huckfest” they experienced while filming Continuum, and Micah Black talking about record snowfall. Todd Jones, co-founder of TGR, also talks about filming The Realm, which included ducking ropes to access forbidden terrain.
How To Re-Enact It: Head out to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and shred from the Tram to see some of the best of what the area has to offer.
3. The Art of Flight
The Art of Flight features Travis Rice, often known as the best snowboarder in the world, John Jackson, and other star athletes in this film produced by Brain Farm and sponsored by Red Bull.
Some scenes were shot at a top-secret location in the nearby Snake River Mountains, 20 miles out from any trailhead, according to Outside magazine. It took days to get the set-up for the shoot ready, including three just to make a trail passable enough for the crew to get out to the filming spot, and then a full day of hauling in 800 pounds of equipment. Once the team was out there, they spent several more days building a 20-foot kicker to launch from.
How To Re-Enact It: While the top-secret locations for filming aren't public knowledge, there is plenty of air to be had in prime Jackson Hole style at JHMR. Check out the Eagle Rest terrain park and the half pipe to practice your tricks.
4. The Precious
Local production company Storm Show produced a classic Teton ski film called The Precious, showcasing high-stakes lines that may have never been skied before. This technical lines and first descends don't dodge around the risk factor, though, and the film includes footage of a near-fatal avalanche during production. Snowboard descents include several Teton peaks, including the Grand Teton, the Middle Teton, and Mount Wister.
How To Re-Enact It: While death-defying first descents of Teton peaks are not for everyone, there are plenty of peaks in Grand Teton National Park that are more accessible for experienced backcountry skiers and split-boarders, including Maverick and 25 Short.
5. Swift Silent Deep
This film explores the legendary Jackson Hole Air Force and the hardcore ski culture they brought to Jackson Hole and beyond. JHAF founders Benny Wilson and Howard Henderson star in the film, which delves into the secret society of skiers that used to duck ropes at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and break laws to find the secret stashes of powder.
How To Re-Enact It: You no longer have to duck ropes and break laws to find the finest powder in Jackson Hole's backcountry. Instead, you can legally access it through gates out of the resort. Be sure to know the avalanche hazard forecast, have proper equipment, skills, and knowledge. If you'd like to play in the backcountry but are not familiar with the area, consider joining one of the resort's guided backcountry tours or backcountry camps.