Telling the true narrative of Aspen/Snowmass in “Our Story”
Aspen/Snowmass, in collaboration with Vital Films, is introducing a six part video series called Our Story, for the 2013/14 ski season. Our Story is meant to provide a behind the scenes look at what makes the four mountains of Aspen so unique. Whether it be the people who work at the mountain, the environmental efforts being made by the resort, the four mountains and their unique terrain, or the good times spirit embodied by the town.
“What’s cool about Our Story is that everyone’s important in Aspen/Snowmass, everyone has an important role,” says Meredith McKee, public relations manager at Aspen/Snowmass. “Whether it’s the snowmakers, the VP of sustainability, our food and beverage director, every single episode, every person has been very essential in making it happen.”
Video series like Our Story are becoming an exciting trend within the ski industry; resorts are collaborating with video production companies who specialize in action sports to produce video content that is unique to them. Aspen based Vital Films has provided video production for Insight with Aidan Sheahan, Colter Hinchliffe’s 2013 Co-Lab entry, Torin Yater-Wallace’s Days To Come (which is now a Vimeo Staff Pick) and Freeskier’s 2012 ski test, among other projects.
“I think, really, it all came together in working with Matt Hobbs, he’s been essential to our success online with all of our videography,” says McKee. “He is the co-owner of Vital Films, and we’ve been incredibly lucky to have worked with him. We brought him along on all of our ad campaign shoots to do a behind the scenes type look.”
The initial episode of Our Story focuses on the Aspen Mountain Snowcats. According to the episode, 40 miles of trails are groomed each night on Ajax, for a total of over 6,000 miles each ski season. The episode follows snowcat drivers Derrin Carelli and John Cody as they take the viewer through what an ordinary day is like for an Aspen Mountain snowcat driver.
“I honestly think we have one of the most beautiful jobs in the world,” says Carelli in the episode. “Swing shift gets to see a sunset every single night, and graveyard gets to see a sunrise, every single morning from the top of Aspen Mountain.”
Episode 1 of Aspen/Snowmass’ Our Story — Aspen Mountain Snowcats
Carelli and Cody grew up together in Ohio, and have since ended up working together, grooming the slopes of Ajax. In the episode, Cody touches
on how the personal relationships of the people working on the grooming team helps make their jobs run smoothly.
“A lot of the people on the crew, we all grew up together,” says Cody. “We don’t even need to talk when we work, we just kind of know what each other’s going to do, and it just flows.”
The Aspen Mountain Snowcats episode sheds light on the team responsible for making sure the slopes of Ajax contain pristine corduroy, and that they are in fact a group of friends from Ohio who have made Aspen their home base, and there’s much more to them than the typical ski bum story. Their narrative coincides with the overall picture of Our Story, to shed many of the common misconceptions surrounding Aspen.
“It’s a constant struggle for us, we’re always trying to overcome the diamonds and the fur and the exclusivity of Aspen that a lot of people know,” explains McKee. “By getting to expand on the characters, the snowmakers, the ski school instructors, and really bring them to life, this story is showing people what Aspen/Snowmass is really about.”
About the author:
Donny O'Neill hails from the mystical, faraway land of New Hartford, CT. When he's not in the mountains searching for Big Foot, he's the Associate Editor here at Freeskier.