Once upon a time, making a top tier ski movie required an enormous budget to get a helicopter off the ground, transport skiers to the top of awe-inspiring lines and capture the aerial footage as they slashed their way down the mountain. This meant that filmmaking was left to a handful of production companies with the ability to raise the necessary funds. But a lot has changed in recent years. The prevalence and affordability of drones and the high-quality cameras on our phones has unlocked a new world for athletes who want to delve into their own filmmaking. The real tool of the trade, however, is the one that gets you to the goods—and that’s a snowmobile. Sleds are used by skiers across the spectrum, to get where they need to go quickly and haul the gear needed to get the job done. Oh and they’re fun as hell to ride, too.
So, to get a taste of what it’s like to sled and film, we met up with athletes Torin Yater-Wallace, Karl Fostvedt and Colby Stevenson in Jackson, Wyoming. All three have been utilizing Ski-Doos in the backcountry for years. Fostvedt recently started his own film company, Native Earth Productions, and has dedicated his time almost entirely to sled skiing around his home state of Idaho. Yater-Wallace and film partner, Jossi Wells, relied heavily on sleds for production of their acclaimed Deviate edit, as well as the much-anticipated sequel which is being filmed this season. Stevenson has been riding a Ski Doo since he was 13-years-old and, it goes without saying, that he rips. This rowdy crew of athletes agrees that that the vehicle of choice is Ski-Doo’s Summit X 850 E-Tec Turbo and after spending a week in the saddle, we’re totally on board.