Instead we had No’Ho’ and his brother Jo’No’ running around the globe making tracks where we only dreamed we might be. One thing is certain, if you follow their formula for finding pow, and can afford it, you will be blessed with it. The Powder Whore’s 10th episode, Some Thing Else, provides a solid hit list of reliable places for hunting powder. And lest I forget, they earned their turns in the making and filming of this movie. Such dedication is no longer unique, but still worth recognizing.
Consider the example of skiing in Canada’s Cariboo Mountains. Ordinarily you might be able to count on pow there, and the reality is, there still was, but it wasn’t the epic blower stuff that the P-whores found in Japan. Even there, it turns out the first week they were in Japan it was good, but not like the second week when you had to wonder how the skiers kept from choking. If you want see what truly mind numbing, ice-cream headache inducing blower looks like, check out Some Thing Else.
There’s other great footage too, like the POV footage of the Provo brothers riding spines in the Tordrillos, or friends dropping pillows in Montana’s Beartooth Mountains, and watching world champion free skier Drew Tabke executing amazing runs under competitive stress, or technically precise turns on the flanks of Mt. Rainier.
Where the P-whores come up short is the commentary of the featured skiers. No one ever said ski bums were known for their intellectual insight, or poetic license. Unfortunately, if it isn’t quotable for print, filming it doesn’t make it any better. As Warren Miller demonstrated repeatedly, it is better as parody than reality.
If you turn off the dialog in your head you’ll find the skiing to be inspiring in a typical, enviable, ski-porn sort of way. In fact my only criticism of the skiing is how monotonous skiing looks with training heels and rockered fatties that scrub speed instead of harnessing it the way good telemarkers are constrained to do. Paul Kimbrough adds some much needed tele charisma to the turns presented, but this film could have used a lot more.
Some Thing Else ends on a solid high note with a trip the Wrangell mountains and a vignette of how to build camp decadence for two weeks of bagging fresh pow and untracked couloirs. In this final segment the dialog is real. In fact, the actual lack of words by the team photographer after being swept several hundred vertical feet says more about the seriousness of the affair than any words could adequately convey. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt, but the honesty with which this is shot probably says more than all the choreographed commentary in other films on how to avoid avalanches.
When it gets down to it, the reason to see the Powder Whore’s latest movie is to carry on the tradition of getting amped with anticipation for the coming season with a head full of envy that will spring open the gates that you’ve locked your credit card behind so you can make good on your plans to experience the depths of pow this year, wherever that may be. Just remember, you were warned in advance that might be the result. Coloradoans beware, its coming to a theater near you this month. Me, I’m booking a reservation with Mr. McAndrews in the Salt River Range where the competition for freshies is less intense, but the company is more so. Watch Some Thing Else to find out where that is.