Film and TV

Solitaire, two-year extreme skiing project in Andes, nears finish line (VIDEO)

Here at the Extreme Sports Desk, we're big fans of work by Sweetgrass Productions, a cabal of Colorado College grads turned gonzo ski-and-snowboard documentary filmmakers.

And now their most ambitious effort to date, a two-year epic journey to "landscapes never before visited on film" across South America, is headed for a world premiere in Denver next month.

Solitaire debuts at the Gothic at 7 pm on September 15. A recently released trailer for the film focuses on the highly vertical skiing and snow-surfing the crew tackled in its meanderings from Peru's Cordillera Blanca to Patagonia. But other webisodes released by Sweetgrass as the production was unfolding indicate there's a lot more to this puppy than the obligatory Big-Air scenes à la Warren Miller, including some white-knuckle paragliding and plenty of local atmosphere. Imagine Ambrose Bierce, gripping a camera and heading deep into the forbidden glacial zone way south of the border, and you start to get a sense of the way the Sweetgrass folks blend backcountry beauty and indigenous culture into their work.

According to their latest blog post, director Nick Waggoner, producers Zac Ramras and Ben Sturgulewski and the rest of the gang are reportedly "deep within the Batcave with nary a glimpse of summer sunlight and little to no social interaction" right now, working on the final edit.

Check out the trailer below.

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

More from our Television & Film archive: "Barbi Benton's oversized crib comes to MTV amid Aspen real-estate woes."

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Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
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