The Alaskan Dream

Alaska – the mythical last frontier on every skiers’ bucket list, the most filmed mountains in the world due to their beauty and insane terrain, countless stories of skiers waiting for weeks on end just for that one epic day in the mountains with the heli. When Sandra Lahnsteiner sent me an email on 18 March asking whether I wanted to join her and Matilda Rapaport for 2,5 weeks heliskiing and filming in Haines, Alaska, I couldn’t refuse. I’ve never felt ready to ski the terrain and spines I always see in the ski films from Alaska, but I just figured you have to start somewhere. So here goes!

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We’re here to ski the Chilkat mountains accessible by heli just 33 miles north of the town of Haines in South-East Alaska. We’re living in the Funny Farm at Mile 27 so we can be close to the heli port when the weather pops. We’re flying with Alaska Heliskiing, one of two heli-operations in this area. Haines has apparently not the extent of terrain Valdez offers for example, but the mountains here are meant to be the most beautiful in the world if you’re a skier/snowboarder.

Hanging with the girls at the 33 Mile House next to the heli base

Hanging with the girls at the 33 Mile House next to the heli base

Getting a glimpse of the mountains when we first arrived

Getting a glimpse of the mountains when we first arrived

Today is our 6th day without skiing. We’re waiting for good light conditions to fly in the heli and also to film. The great news is that it snowed 70 to 100 cm two days ago above approx. 800 metres, and we’ve got a good weather window from tomorrow onwards for a couple of days. We can hardly believe our luck, but we’re still trying to keep our expectations low because you never know what’s going to happen.

AS WE ARE Film Tour

Last year we filmed our very own girls ski movie, “AS WE ARE”, which is currently touring around Europe. „AS WE ARE“ is a celebration of women’s skiing in a male-dominated world of sports where female athletes are notably absent in most ski movies. The 48 minute full-HD film is more than just great ski action in the backcountry. It tells the story of six freeride girls who started their journey as strangers and end up becoming fast friends, a journey which takes them to the best snow and backcountry terrain in the Alps.

AS WE ARE Film Tour Poster

AS WE ARE European Film Tour presented by Gore-Tex®

– Innsbruck/AUT            27.10.10, 20.00 Metropol Kino Innsbruck

– London/GB                        28.10.10, Freeski Film Festival, Clapham Grand, London

– Hartkirchen/AUT            30.10.10, 20.00 Musikschule Hartkirchen

– Salzburg/AUT            05.11.10, 20.00 SN Saal Salzburg

– Vienna/AUT                        18.11.10, Vienna Freeski Film Festival, WUK

– Amsterdam/NED            19.11.10, Dutch Freeski Film Festival, Amsterdam

– Ebensee/AUT            26.11.10, 19.30, Arbeiterheim Ebensee

– Kitzbühel/AUT            08.12.10, Special Event mit Casino Spielkapital

– Lienz/AUT                        10.12.10, Lienz

– Rosenheim/GER            14.12.10 20.00 Ballhaus Rosenheim

The Movie – Fact Sheet

Athletes: Laura Bohleber (SUI), Lorraine Huber (AUT), Sandra Lahnsteiner (AUT), Giulia Monego (ITA), Melissa Presslaber (AUT), Pia Widmesser (GER)

Producer: Sandra Lahnsteiner

Camera: Mathias Bergmann from sweetshots, Kenny Cowburn

Director and Editor: Mathias Bergmann

Film locations: Gastein (Aut), Lech am Arlberg(Aut), St. Jakob i.D. (Aut), Hochfügen (Aut), Verbier (Sui)

Length: 48min

Format: Full HD pro

Click here for all information, our trailer, and upcoming tour dates.

Girls Ski Movie

In an interview I once said that one of the things I still want to do is become involved in an all-girls ski movie. This season my chance has finally come! Sandy Lahnsteiner – fitness traininer, mental coach, ex-racer and a woman of action – contacted me in July about the chance to be one of 6 skiers in an all-girls ski movie. The story revolves around a road trip the girls undertake, each to their own home ski resorts. We will travel from Gastein, Austria, to St. Jakob (Eastern Tirol), Cortina (Italy), Lech am Arlberg (Austria), Oberstdorf (Germany) and finally Verbier (Switzerland). As well as some beautiful skiing action, the film looks at how the girls find inspiration from each other to ski the best lines possible. Our goal is to inspire as many people – foremost women, but also men – to grab a group of friends and head to the mountains for some fun skiing action!

The crew consists of:

Riders: Sandra Lahnsteiner (Gastein), Mel Presslaber (St. Jakob), Giulia Monego (Cortina), Lorraine Huber (Lech am Arlberg), Pia Widmesser (Oberstdorf), and Laura Bohleber (Verbier).

Camera: Mathias Bergmann from sweetshots, some of Europe’s best outdoor sports photographers.

The road-tripping girls from ski resorts across the Alps (pic by Mirja Geh)

Pics by Mirja Geh

Together the girls will find and ride the best lines in each of their home ski resorts (pic by Yves Garneau)

Join our fan page on facebook to follow us on our road trip. For more information about how to get involved in our all-girls film project, please contact me directly.