TGR fuels pow hounds with world premiere

By on September 10, 2014

‘Almost Ablaze’ douses viewers with global mountain mayhem and candid commentary.

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(From left to right), Angel Collinson, Ian McIntosh, Dana Flahr and Sage Cattabriga-Alosa in an ice cave somewhere near Juneau, AK. Photo: Teton Gravity Research.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – Teton Gravity Research’s Almost Ablaze will take you to high places and do strange things to your body. “We didn’t go for a deep story line on this film. We went for pure stoke,” said director and TGR co-founder Steve Jones. The film opens during a scenic trip to the Taku Glacier in Alaska, introducing audiences to the fierce conditions faced by athletes such as Angel Collinson via a visual/auditory roller coaster.

Oh no, you say, is this going to be another one of those cookie cutter big mountain films with romanticized mountain images from a director in love with his camera? Wrong, just wait till the film involves you in an alien encounter at Grand Targhee as Sage Cattabriga-Alosa slashes the strangest powder of his career. More Teton glory ensues on the other side of the ‘tons with Todd Ligare, Griffin Post, and Tim Durtschi. These guys do everything but sleep on the pillows they find, and based on how much butter Durtschi spreads on these fun bags they’d be more appropriately called muffins.

Speaking of nooks and crannies, viewers are then transported with Dash Longe and crew to find some tasty couloirs in the Julian Alps in Italy. With insane amounts of snow, these bellissimes lines are best conquered by the TGR crew. When you’ve had your fill of pasta and wine, the film returns to the Tetons and TGR gets country as Mark Carter, Max Hammer, and Collinson take down the hardest hitting lines on the behemoth Mt. Moran.

After a dose of big mountain glory, viewers enter a chilly reality via a historical trip to Sarajevo with Olympic slopestyle gold medalist Joss Christensen as he and Chris Laker shred the 1984 Olympic village, which, after being neglected and used as a military base, now resembles a post-apocalyptic graffiti splattered Mad Max film set.

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Joss Christensen urban ski grinding in Sarajevo at the 1984 Olympic village. Photo: Teton Gravity Research.

State of the art audio recording techniques allow audiences into the candid banter that transpires among athletes during filming. This makes the whole viewing experience more visceral. “We put a lot of energy into the sound and making sure all the athletes were mic’d up throughout the production,” Jones explained.

The audio also helps us relate with these subhuman riders on a basic level, too. From a steep and deadly couloir in the big mountain mecca of La Grave, France, Ian McIntosh perhaps sums it up best: “I love this shit,” he says as he navigates a treacherous no-fall zone.

The world premiere of Almost Ablaze happens 8 p.m., Saturday at Teton Village’s South Village lot. Enjoy music by Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapons, brews care of a Snake River beer garden and eats from local food trucks. $15 advance tickets, $20 day-of-show. 16 and under are $10 at the door. 100 percent of proceeds will benefit local charities. This event is expected to sell-out. www.tetongravity.com/jhworldpremiere.   

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