Top Five Fridays - June 5, 2015 // Ski Industry News
Despite being the first week of June, there's a surprising amount of news this week in the world of skiing! From technologies that promise us automated drone selfies, a Kickstarter campaign that would shudder at the thought, and multiple campaigns to reopen lost ski areas, this week's skiing news covers topics far and wide. It's Friday. Take a few minutes off of work and see what you might've missed this week!
#1: Introducing The Lily - A Self-Controlled Drone Follow Cam
While this video was posted almost a month ago, it finally made it on to our radar. The Lily claims to be “the world’s first throw-and-shoot camera,” and judging by it’s introduction video, the business expects the world of skiing and snowboarding to be some of the product’s earliest adapters. While the video and product are sure to inspire awe, there are certainly realists and ski resorts seeing red flags anywhere. Considerations such as safety, density, and resort regulation of the devices is sure to become a hot topic in the next few years. Or, with an expected shipping date of February 2016, the impacts of the Lily Drone may be noticeable sooner than we think. As with most things, only time will tell what the impact of this new technology will be on the ever shrinking solitude of skiing.
#2: Kickstarter Alert: "Tamashii | A Social Documentary told through Skiing."
Speaking of skiing and solitude, a new Kickstarter campaign has just launched in an effort to produce a film called, “Tamashii,” that showcases skier’s getting back to their roots. One of the best parts of skiing is undeniably the fact that it puts you in the moment. Ask any skier, we’ve all been there. Whether that means you’re focusing on your next turn or it’s the feeling of solitude you get from going on a tour in the backcountry. Or, it could even be watching one of your buddies send it off a new cliff or land a new trick. Regardless of what puts you in the moment, few would disagree that being outdoors and away from the internet are part of what makes skiing so special.
Unfortunately, this escape from reality is being threatened by social media and the seemingly relentless need to post your latest antics for your friends to see, creating an unspoken competition for social dominance. And that’s where “Tamashii - A Social Documentary Told Through Skiing” hopes to step in. By utilizing Kickstarter, film maker Ross Reid is looking to raise $20,000 to produce his documentary which takes a look at our need as a society to always be online, and always comparing ourselves to others through the images and videos we share of what used to be moments that we’d only be able to live once in a lifetime. As skiers, this is something that we can all relate to and we hope that Ross is successful in raising the money for his film.
You can see his Kickstarter campaign and back his project here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/694818519/tamashii-a-social-documentary-told-through-skiing
#3: West Windsor, Vermont Looks to Purchase and Perserve Defunct Ski Resort
The idea of bringing skiing back to nature isn’t a new one. In fact, it’s been gaining a lot of traction over the last few years as the Alpine Touring industry has continued to grow. We’ve reported on uphill skiing before, and now it looks as though one of our neighboring towns in Vermont is making an effort to buy Ascutney Mountain Resort, a ski area that’s been closed since 2010. If successful, the land owned by Ascutney Mountain Resort would be incorporated into the West Windsor Town Forest and be made available for public use. Currently, backcountry skiing is one of the proposed uses for the land, and would be one of the first publicly supported backcountry skiing networks in Vermont. As there continues to be more interest in backcountry skiing as a reaction to the increasing glitz and glam found at ski resorts, we hope that defunct mountains like Ascutney will continued to be purchased and converted into networks of backcountry glades.
To contribute to the fundraising efforts, head to the Trust for Public Land’s crowd funding page: https://support.tpl.org/west-windsor/events/the-campaign-to-protect-ascutney-mountain/e48495
#4: RED RUN | The Abandoned Ski Village
Back in 2012, Sheffield Ski Village fell victim to an accidental fire that started in its main building. In the month that followed, there were two more additional fires on the premises that have been attributed to arson. Then, on April 24, 2013, the final wooden buildings at the ski resort were also burned down as a result of arson. Since then, the resort has been the victim of endless vandalism and theft, rendering it useless, closed to the public, and ultimately nothing more than an eye sore.
That is, until a recent push by an organization called Snowsport for Sheffield which hopes to generate public interest in re-opening the resort. In a second effort to generate interest, SALT-STREET Productions, a film production company based out of Sheffield, recently released “RED RUN | The Abandoned Ski Village,” an edit that depicts local skiers still skiing on what remains of the dry slope. While the skiing and tricks themselves are nothing mind blowing, the persistence and refusal to quit despite the challenges that exist are notions that resonate with passionate skiers anywhere. A combination of this feeling along with the visuals of a destroyed ski area create a lasting impression and serve as a strong indicator that in Sheffield, “If they build it, they will come.”
To find out how you can contribute to the cause, go here: http://snowsportforsheffield.co.uk
#5: And Now, the Edit of the Week:
Former competitive aerialist and freeskier Dylan Ferguson has quite the story. A native of Massachusetts, Ferguson spent 10 years of his life competing as an aerialist for the U.S. National Team. During his tenure, Dylan won numerous events, most notably a 3-Peat at the U.S. National Championships. Still, despite his success, unfortunate circumstances have kept Dylan from ever competing in his discipline at the Olympics. But with freeskiing being Dylan's muse over the past decade, the obstacle's he's faced as an aerialist may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Watch the edit above to see how Dylan's unique background and abilities might just give him the upper hand in progressing the sport of freeskiing.
Written by Matt McGinnis on 6/05/15