You don’t want to be stuck in line for popcorn and miss these scenes from the 69th Warren Miller ski and snowboard film, “Face of Winter,” now touring Colorado:
Iceland (segment No. 5): Summer heli-skiing near the Arctic Circle, based out of a family farm dating back 1,200 years and featuring 4,000-foot descents looming over the Arctic Ocean. There is some gorgeous sunset skiing, where it never gets dark in the summer and temperatures are mild.
Denali National Park (segment 6): A pair of ski mountaineers travel cross-country on a glacier to reach the foot of massive peaks near Alaska’s Mount Denali, then climb to earn some turns on sweet, steep descents. “Why ski touring?” says one of the skiers in the segment, Jess McMillan of Jackson, Wyo. “Why do people do it? Why do they love it? For me, the neat part of ski touring is losing yourself in the mountains. You feel like an explorer, and I think there is a part of the human spirit that wants and needs that.”
Local lineup for Warren Miller’s “Face of Winter”
- Thursday: Lakewood Cultural Center, 7:30 p.m.
- Friday-Saturday: Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Center, 7:30 p.m.
- Nov. 7: Parker, Pace Center, 7:30 p.m.
- Nov. 8-11: Boulder Theater, multiple showings
- Nov. 9: Evergreen, The Wild Game, 7:30 p.m.
- Nov. 13: Loveland, the Rialto Theater, 7:30 p.m.
- Nov. 14: Northglenn, DL Parsons Theatre, 7:30 p.m.
- Nov. 15-17: Denver, the Paramount Theatre, multiple showings
- Nov. 19-21: Lone Tree Arts Center, 7:30 p.m.
Chile (segment 7): Portillo is where U.S. Ski Team downhillers train in the fall. It’s also one of the most spectacular settings imaginable for a ski area, situated by the shore of an aquamarine alpine lake surrounded by soaring Andes peaks. The segment includes shots from the slopes of the ski area and heli-skiing on nearby mountains. The swimming pool is pretty cool, too. “Portillo is like the coolest adult summer camp ever,” says a snowboarder in the segment, Breckenridge’s Brennan Metzler.
France (segment 8): Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc (the highest peak in the Alps), is where alpine mountaineering was invented in the 18th century and it remains a place where extreme athletes do extreme things. This segment shows three skiers making ridiculous descents on the Mont Blanc massif using skis, rappels and even wings. Plus the jagged mountain scenery is some of the best in Europe.
Washington (segment 4): Perhaps the most entertaining scene is set at Mount Baker, a volcanic peak in the northern Cascades of Washington state. It’s the birthplace of the Legendary Banked Slalom, the oldest snowboarding race in the world dating back to 1985. Imagine riders on a course that looks like a toboggan run, including a corkscrew section that takes them under the course through a tunnel barely four feet wide. Guaranteed to make you smile, even if you’re a skier.