The eight contestants for Real Ski Backcountry, the all-video medal event premiering at X Games Tignes, are wrapping up their 90-second edits. Online voting begins March 5 at XGames.com to determine the fan favorite, which, along with judges' favorite, will be announced March 22 during X Games Tignes in France.
Contestant Dane Tudor's filming window was cut short due to an injury he sustained while snowmobile skiing near Revelstoke, British Columbia, on Jan. 18. He is still submitting a segment that will showcase the 16 days he spent filming in Revelstoke in December and early January. Tudor is the only contestant editing his own segment.
We caught up with him at his home in Rossland, British Columbia.
What do you think about the format of Real Ski?
I'm pretty excited. I've always wanted to be a part of X Games. And going out to film for it was awesome.
How did you decide to film the segment in Revelstoke?
We'd spent some time there three years ago filming for Revolver [Poor Boyz Productions]. I knew the terrain there. It was the move to make.
How was the filming process?
It's been good. I started the season off filming with my buddy Donovan Lee, who has filmed me since I was a young kid. For the first few weeks, it was just dumping, so we kept it safe and filmed a pow tree segment -- warming ourselves up for bigger things to come. Pete Alport showed up, and we began our short-lived jump tangent. We got some good shots before everything hit the fan.
Take us through the injury.
It was one of the most painful, gnarly experiences I've ever been through. I was skiing with John Spriggs. I was doing a 180 to switch 180 on a pillow off a cliff. I over-rotated and landed sideways on one leg. I knew I dislocated my hip. I got cold so fast. Within 20 minutes, I was starting to shiver, and I was in so much pain. We were close to Revelstoke and had cell service, and Spriggs was able to get search and rescue. We just kept waiting and hearing helis that weren't ours. It was going to be dark soon. Two hours later, the heli showed up, and someone long-lined into me. He covered me in heat packs and slipped me on the stretcher, wrapped me in a protective bag, clipped me to the long line and flew me out 70 feet under the heli. We started spinning, and I would close my eyes for a while and then open them thinking we were close and we were still super high. They put me down by my truck and put me in an ambulance. I started to feel the pain moving into the femur, and I didn't know if I broke it. At the hospital, they finally took my ski boots off, and I broke down and started crying because that was the first time I knew I was going to be OK. They put me out and reallocated my hip, and I woke up and everything finally relaxed.
What did you learn from all of this?
How things get really real in a matter of seconds. It can become life and death. Unless you are carrying a stretcher, a sled behind your snowmobile and stuff to get someone out who can't move at all, you aren't prepared. We were so close -- the closest you could be to Revy. We were in the most localized area to ride a snowmobile and so close to the trailhead, yet we were so stuck. People don't understand how hard it is to get out. It puts a whole new perspective on how dangerous it can get in a matter of seconds. If the accident had happened any later in the day, the heli wouldn't have made it, and we would have had to get out on our own. In my situation, I was in so much pain and would have done so much damage.
How's your attitude now?
Sometimes I get a little bummed, but the days just keep on rolling by. I've had people come visit me, which makes a big difference. I'm going to be walking at six weeks, which is pretty good. It could be a lot worse.
How is your segment looking?
The edit is pretty well put together. I've been working really hard, editing over and over. I'm waiting to do some graphics. I'm editing the whole thing myself.
How did you get into editing?
Most people don't know that I do all my own edits. I've done a lot of editing and filming since I was 10. I first started filming skiing here [in Rossland] and dirt biking in the summer. And when I was really young, jumping off the deck into the snow. I drive myself insane trying to go every day to get footage. Most of the time I just want to ski, but it's gratifying to be able to watch the shots later and put them to music. It's just fun to create.