Words by Jon Glass
Every year as fall hits the Northern Hemisphere the industry turns its full attention to the much anticipated winter season. From the U.S. to Europe and beyond movie premieres start to drop that bring the level of stoke to an all time high. No matter where you are located you can find a premiere or two to attend, and if you're ultra lucky you'll be able to hit one of the many multi-day movie events that go down.
The good people at Sun Valley have created one of these multi-day festivals: in its second year, The Gathering hit the great state of Idaho last weekend as skiers and snowboarders descended upon Sun Valley for three days of movies, parties and activities to get the industry ready for what could be another season of record snowfall.
Good ol' Sun Valley
Being as it was my first time in Sun Valley I didn't know what to expect. Talking to others who have experienced the area brought about a lot of different images and ideas that rolled through my head as the two-prop plane bounced its way to the runway. The 14-mile shuttle ride at night was tough as I had heard so much, but could see so little. I'd have to wait until the morning to see for myself what all the hype was about.
Upon awakening from a deep slumber at the Sun Valley Lodge I took a look outside as the sun was coming up over the surrounding mountains. It was a perfect bluebird day and there was so much stuff to do.
The Gathering was set to go off at 6pm at Apples Bar & Grill, a local favorite après ski spot that was hosting the night's movie premieres. With a whole day ahead to kill I got a local tip that the mountain biking was all time in the area. So I hit up Pete's Lanes to get the low down on where to go. Equipped with a solid rented Kona set up I headed to the Adams Gulch, an area of trails that ran through a valley of amazing views and challenging terrain. After checking out the trail map I realized just how expansive the trails were in this place.
After navigating my way back to Apples, the party had begun. Two big screens were setup outside the bar that would showcase Smith's Prospecting Idaho, Eddie Bauer's Bell Ringer, 4bi9's Begging For Change and TGR's One For the Road. The crowd quickly gathered as the movies hit the big screen. Product was tossed out and raffle tickets were drawn to win some sweet gear from Smith Optics and the supporting sponsors. Smith's Prospecting Idaho was an obvious favorite as the entire film was shot at nearby Smiley Creek. The athletes joined in the fun, signed autographs and enjoyed the night as we headed to the after party at Roosevelt's down in Ketchum.
Movie screening at Apples.
The after party went off as Tanner Hall's Retallack: The Movie played and Messenjah Selah rocked the house with his Jamaican beats. Copious amounts of booze flowed for the over 21 group as we partied into the night. It was one hell of a day and we had to do it all over one more time.
The great thing about The Gathering is that it not only offers an all star line up of movies and after parties but the day is filled with so many activities that it's hard to choose. From Sun Valley's world class golf courses, mountain biking, fly fishing, hiking and trail system to the two nearby skateparks, hot springs, year round ice skating, tennis and gun club; this place has it all.
We opted to blow some shit up. So we headed to the Sun Valley Gun Club to shoot the deadly 12 gauge Berettas. From handling some heavy machinery to when the instructor pulls the clay and you blow the crap out of the flying disk, adrenaline is pumping through your veins. This is not an activity to miss. But like all good things, they come to an end we had to leave this place of manly glory to hit up Level 1's After Dark premiere.
Sun Valley Gun Club
The crowd packed the Sun Valley Opera House. People were pumped. Ticket holders won gear from Skullcandy Aviators to new boots and pow skis. It was pure madness. Just like a premiere should be. After product was tossed and kids scrambled for free gear we headed out to the Pavilion lawn to rock out to the Itals, the 7-piece, Grammy nominated reggae legends from Jamaica. These guys could jam. The entire crowd was on their feet dancing away, drinking beers and having the time of their lives with the backdrop of a perfect star filled sky.
The Gathering is an event not to miss. If you couldn't make it this year keep it on your radar for 2012 as this event will continue to grow year after year.