The annual winter edition of the Mountains on Stage Film Festival is back with an impressive line up of films touring around the UK.

The Ski Club headed to one of the viewings in the UK to review the four films on offer for snowsports fans:

Weightless

Paraglider Jean-Baptiste Chandlier showcases his eye-popping flight skills in some of the most beautiful locations in the world. Only a 5-minute feature, Weightless is filled to the brim with action-packed stunts and cheeky segments, which you can’t help but smile at. From gliding through a Giant Slalom to floating over an Azores volcano, Weightless is a spectacular cinematic treat.

 

Evolution of Dreams

Two of the most all-rounded skiers in the world, Eva Walkner and Jackie Passo share their journey through professional skiing. Walkner came from an alpine race background and had dreams of taking part in the Olympic Winter Games, whilst Passo was a top-class professional mogul skier. Both journeys have seen them transfer disciplines to the heights of freeride skiing.

The film shows that skiing can be an emotional roller coaster especially when you’re pushing the limits. Major injuries and adverse weather conditions meant that plans were ripped up, but the movie shows how each rider tackles each of their setbacks. What really shines through is both Walkner and Passo’s pure passion for the mountains and their determination to continue to better themselves as skiers.

Walkner’s rise to two Freeride World Tour titles and Passo’s achievement of finally taking on the Eiger, a tough steep skiing decent, is a real inspiration for skiers everywhere. After you’ve seen this movie you just want to head out to the mountains.

Look at our Women’s Freeride section of our 2019 Ski Test. 

    

Zabardast

The last thing you’d think a trip to Pakistan will entail is a mountain ski trek to some of the most challenging ski terrain on the planet. Zabardast follows Leo Tailefer, Thomas Delfino, Zak Mills, Helias Millerioux and Yannick Graziani on a wild five-week expedition to the heart of the Karakoram mountains.

Directed by professional snowboard photographer Jerome Tanon, the film embraces human emotion as well as showcasing nature’s strength and beauty. Zabardast captures the demanding expedition intimately by showing each character’s instant reaction at key moments. The blend of visiting the locals in the villages to no human contact in the backcountry was a vast contrast, which brought home the togetherness of the expedition team.

Straight out the blocks, we are hit with a snapshot of one of the climbers struggling to climb a face with his ice axe and crampons. The ice is so solid he frantically tries to hit the mountain to gain some purchase up against the climb. A scene that immediately gets the hair to stand on the back of your neck.

The cinematography not only shows the awe-inspiring views but also brilliantly delivers the sheer steepness of some the descents the skiers take on. Anticipation is heightened by the personability of the editing, deep breathing and point of view shots really added to the drama of each terrifying descents.

The stars of the show aren’t necessarily the mountaineers who took on one the steepest lines, it was actually the ones who didn’t. Graziani didn’t feel confident to take one of the main descents and immediately took a back seat on the climb. A great lesson to those looking to do trips to the mountains.

Although this was a film about a trek to Pakistan, the personalities of the group were the stars of the show. The determination of each mountaineer and their openness to camera really brought you close to the action.

Find out more about how you can conquer the tallest peaks by getting into ski touring with Mountain Tracks.

   

Path to Everest

The main feature film of the night was Killian Jornet’s Path to Everest. If you aren’t familiar with Jornet, the man is a machine at climbing mountains whatever season it is. The Ultrarunner has an amazing CV of achievements in trail running and mountaineering. In this documentary, Jornet takes on the mission of climbing Everest in the fastest known time.

Since birth Jornet has been surrounded by alpine scenery and grew up hiking, climbing and skiing. This early development has made him into one of the most impressive ultra-runners on the planet. During his training for Everest, he dedicated five years to climb some of the most iconic mountains in the world.

His laid-back humour is there for all to see, even when he’s attempting the biggest climbs of his career. There’s one scene during a small trek with his partner Emelie, where he’s trying to convince her to jump over a metre drop. The back and forth between them is very sweet and charming. Not every couple have the dilemma of trying to convince each other to jump over mountain drop.

Each ascent that Jornet does give you the sense of the incredible speed at which he climbs. His endurance and pace combined make him a formidable athlete, add this with his love of the mountains too and it’s a perfect recipe for an amazing mountaineer. Although this film is about one man, he has a close-knit team that allows him to attempt the Everest climbs in the safest way possible.

The film is eighty minutes long, allowing you to delve deep into the journey of an athlete at the height of his game. Commentary from family, friends and fellow climbers show how much of an impact Jornet has had on the mountaineering and trail running world.

This is certainly not the last project Jornet will endure, he says he still has ambitions for more: “Learning new techniques in recent years, opens up possibilities, things to do. I’m not looking for technical mountaineering, I prefer to be in motion, but it’s true that there is plenty to do.” 

   

For the last UK screenings head to the Mountain’s on-stage website, Ski Club Members get a special discount using a unique code.