Thanks to all that have posted on this topic. I love to see the passion here at Crystal about skiing powder. Yet I am chagrined to see some of the vitriole (here as well as towards others on the hill). Let me tell you a story. Several decades ago, Warren Miller came to Boyne Mountain, Michigan and asked Everett Kircher if it would be okay for him to film at the ski area. Apparently Warren had been turned down elsewhere and was looking for a soft place to film. Everett said, "Sure." And Warren promised not to "get in the way" or "interfere with the skiing on the hill." As it turns out, Warren got some good footage and still thanks Boyne for being one of the opportunities to get his start in the ski film industry. Contrary to what some have said here, Warren Miller’s crew is still doing the same today.
What is the ski world if not a group a ski bums trying to make a life out of what our parents always told us was "never going to amount to anything"? On Friday, I had the privilege of escorting the "Warren Miller" crew into the Southback country. I always look forward to the opening of the season’s ski films in the Fall. For most of us, the soundtrack and the ski shots create the fantasy of what our perfect ski day might be in the upcoming season. What I learned from observing the filming on Friday was how it takes countless hours and ski shots to make up that "one perfect day" as seen in the film. The pro skiers weren’t tracking up the great runs in the Southback. In fact, they were lapping some of the flutes and launches that no one skis anyway. A group of locals posted up on the top of the Throne to watch the skiers launch off of Little AK and other areas in A-Basin. They were hooting and hollering and loving the action, even though it was much slower than it will be in the film. The skiers and the photographers spent more time boot packing and hiking and stomping in the launches than actually skiing. In the four hours I spent with them, they probably produced only minutes of film.
Next Fall, when the ski movies come out I certainly hope that all of you will be pleased to see your local area featured in the Warren Miller movie. This is the stoke that we all look for to keep the fires burning. For those of you that can’t see this, I am glad that this forum is here for you to voice your complaints. Or please, come and talk to me about it personally. I would love to tell you more about how great the film crew is for the ski industry in general and Crystal Mountain in particular.
As skiers, we all need to see the good for the whole, not just for ourselves. Sure, we all love to get that fresh line all alone. Yet we also need to understand that we all stand together. If the ski industry declines, we all lose. Warren Miller started something when he first began filming movies at places like Boyne Mountain, Michigan. Every year, his movies still inspire us to ski harder and put in more days. After all as Warren Miller says, if we don’t ski it this year, next year we will be another year older.
When Crystal Mountain invited the Warren Miller crew to ski our area, our goal was not to anger anyone. Instead the idea is to showcase our killer terrain as well as our great local skiers. One of the pro skiers here this week is Ingrid Backstrom, who grew up skiing here and now plays with the big boys. We are proud to have her back. We have a great ski area here and so often it is underappreciated. Warren Miller has been here before. This year, we invited them here based on a forecast that has turned out to be even better than expected. Let’s all enjoy the skiing together. Based on what I skied today, there is certainly plenty for everyone.