It’s ski movie season, and J and I have been taking in as many as we possibly can. Attack of La Nina was so epic and deep that it made me mad all over again about missing two-thirds of the best season in history; at One for the Road it was reassuring to see Ian McIntosh looking in good shape after the horrifying femur-breaking fall that featured in the movie. The films, as always, were pure ski porn: huge cliff hucks, near-vertical Alaska spines, blower powder in the BC backcountry.

Then last night we hit the new Sweetgrass Productions’ film, Solitaire. Filmed over two years in South America without the aid of a single heli, cat or chairlift, this was a work of art as much as a ski movie. Lingering shots of windswept icefields and bones bleaching in desolate grasslands juxtaposed with the flickering embers of fires and a cat luxuriating in the sunshine filtering through the window of a remote mountaintop cabin. The action shots lingered on crystals hanging in air, the sheer scale of the landscape, and the power and beauty of the lines carved by skis in the snow. The movie was a testament to the stark beauty of the South American landscape, and the endurance and skill of the individuals exploring it.

If you only see one ski movie this year, make it this one. It’s a stunner.

SOLITAIRE: A Backcountry Skiing, Snowboarding, and Telemark Film from Sweetgrass Productions on Vimeo.

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