Last winter's snow conditions were below average around the United States, with record low snowfalls at resorts, unstable backcountry conditions, and poor visitor numbers and gear sales across the snowsports industry.
Despite all of that, 91 Octane, a group of skiers from Squaw Valley, Calif., decided it'd be a good season to put together a web video series. The crew, made up of pro skiers JT Holmes, Timy Dutton, Cody Townsend, Mat Jackson, videographer Conor Toumarkine, and a handful of others, set out to capture high-energy footage in the Sierra via snowmobiles, chairlifts and skins. The only problem? No snow and no budget, which became the name of their webisode series.
Despite the setbacks, they were not deterred. "The highlight session of my Tahoe backcountry skiing last year was teaming up with 91 Octane and going to one of their favorite zones," says JT Holmes. "The guys were so on it that I got 10 laps by 10 a.m. I thought to myself, this is as good as heli skiing, then I realized that a helicopter would have provided fewer laps and been astronomically more expensive. Last year was a low snow year in the Sierra, so I can't wait to add a bit more powder to the equation this year and explore what's possible in our own backyard."
This three-minute teaser, which released on Tuesday, is a preview for the upcoming season.
Adds Mat Jackson, "It's easy to be motivated to get out there and work on a project like this because we are all such great friends and would be skiing together anyway. Plus with a crew like we have it's easy to laugh even when mother nature is corking you left and right."