A Skier’s Journey

Film: “A Skier’s Journey,” by Jordan Manley
I thought I’d get in one last ski movie before Mud Season starts, and Jordan Manley’s is a good one (or three) to end on. This isn’t the standard hyper-expensive, multi-sponsor, mega-star affairs that are released every fall — it’s a series of three short films on Vimeo, sponsored by Arcteryx and Gore. Photographer Jordan Manley sought to tell stories about traveling and skiing some of the world’s most interesting places all in one trip, including the Gulmarg Gondola, the highest operating cable car in the world, in Kashmir; lift-served ski mountaineering via the Téléphérique La Grave in La Grave, France; and Banff and the Freshfield Icefield in the Canadian Rockies. The cinematography here is great; better than you might expect from someone whose day job is still photography. Manley uses his eye for still shots to compose some great footage, which definitely doesn’t spend the entire time capturing dudes ripping the gnar — although there is some of that. This series is art, not ski porn — no let’s-get-a-shot-of-our-helicopter-from-our-other-helicopter stuff; it emphasizes travel, culture, nature and danger as well as high-level skiing. Jordan Manley deserves big-money cameras and big-money sponsorship for this kind of work, and the world would be a better place if saw more films from him in the future.