Chris McKeever

Filming Advance at Grand Targhee Resort

 Over the winter of 2014/2015, Grand Targhee Resort was the playground where the Revision crew filmed part of our short film, “Advance.” Revision skis athletes Chris McKeever, Danny Arnold, and Jake Fagrelius, filmer Mike Kvackay, and photographer Arthur Balluff hit the resort on March 12th. Half of the guys had road tripped from Colorado, a 6-hour white knuckle ride through a blizzard in a rented Toyota Camry (note from Mike, Teton Pass is not advisable in 2wd in a whiteout). We caught up with the guys to talk about the trip and also to gain some perspective on everything that goes into creating a film like “Advance.”

Grand Targhee Resort is located in the Teton Mountains, in the town of Alta, a quick ride north of Jackson. The crew was put up in the Sioux Lodge, which is conveniently located right at the base of the hill and made for a great bonding experience in the comfy quarters of the lodge.

The overnight snowstorm ended up dumping about 8″ of freshies, and the crew headed out the first morning to what Kvackay describes as “probably the gnarliest in bounds terrain of any resort I have been to.” Grand Targhee offers over 2,600 acres of terrain, has a vertical drop of nearly 2,300 feet, and five lifts which spread out the crowds and keep lift lines short. With awesome terrain and the cold smoke powder found in the interior, it was the perfect setting for the opening scenes for “Advance.” 

Danny Arnold backflip

Danny with a nice backie into that perfect Grand Targhee pow – photo credit Arthur Balluff

After the first dump, the rest of the trip was quite warm and dry. No more snow fell and the temps climbed into the 40s, but still, freshies were to be found. “The backcountry access was perfect. 3 days after our storm, we could still find fresh tracks only a few hundred feet from a lift.”  – Mike Kvackay, Filmer

Creating even a short film like Advance is an exhausting effort that a lot of people take for granted. Even working with the rad Grand Targhee terrain, the crew shot for 6 days, with only a handful of shoots ever making it to the viewer’s eyes. There can be a lot of variables in a shot, such as camera errors like missed focus or simply the skier just didn’t land it. On hill, Kvackay was the only snowboarder on a “ski only” trip, which was hard. Whether traversing to a film spot, or unstrapping after getting stuck, and lugging 20 pounds of camera pack, the going was tough for him. After the filming is done, Mike needed to edit and label shots for hours after 6 hours of hiking and skiing around. “Let’s just say that it is a full time job with everything combined together.”

Revision skis athlete Jake Fagrelius spinning on Subtraction pow skis at Grand Targhee

Jake Fagrelius jibbing a Grand Targhee pillow – photo credit Arthur Balluff

“All of the athletes stepped up their game. Danny killed it. I love skiing with him and he really pushes himself on every feature. I would have to say his naked backflip was my favorite. The snow had been sunbaked so getting speed was an issue but he pulled that bad boy around with nothing on but his ski boots and his transceiver. Chris also charged hard on resort, not even speed checking through gullies riddled with moguls and trees. Everyone was super friendly, the stoke was high and we got some killer shots from the trip. I cannot wait to head back soon.” – Mike Kvackay

 

All told, Grand Targhee turned out to be the perfect place to film for “Advance.” We’re thankful for the opportunity and their generosity in hosting us.

 

RevisionSkis-Targhee-Day-1-17

8″ of dry Grand Targhee powder on Day 1

 

RevisionSkis-Targhee-Day-2-40

Grand Targhee Day 2

RevisionSkis-Targhee-Day-2-9

Grand Targhee Resort Day 3

Advance Ski Movie

While filming the Advance ski movie, we spent the last season chasing snow with friends in both the backcountry and the streets. We had some deep days cat skiing with our friends at Fernie Wilderness Adventures, where the snow always seems to hit for us.  Our time at Grand Targhee was great as well, but we weren’t as lucky on the weather. Other legs of the trip while filming included street skiing in Sweden and Russia, along with a bunch of other great spots across the Western states. Hit play, sit back, and enjoy the Advance ski movie, featuring skiers Mike King, Sandy Boville, Chris McKeever, Tobias Sedlacek, Erik Pousette, Sakarias Majander, Leo Bjorklund, Douglas Kallsbo, Ian Hamilton, Danny Arnold, Sam Zahner, Jake Fagrelius, and Tanner Berg. We hope you enjoy watching ‘Advance’ as much as we did filming it.

Advance Ski Movie Locations

  • British Columbia
  • Wyoming
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Sweden
  • Russia
  • More….

Advance Ski Movie - Targhee

Summer Reinvigoration – Recovering after a brutal ski crash

My 2014/2015 season ended on April 10th, on the third jump of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals World Tour Finals Slopestyle Course on Blackcomb British Columbia.  It was ended by wet snow, a slow takeoff, and a brutal ski crash.

Halfway through my Doublecork 1260, I spotted my landing and knew I wasn’t going to reach it.  I opened up out of my rotation and landed on my left hip, side, and outstretched arm on the knuckle of the 75 foot jump.  I bounced and slid to a stop in the landing as I tried and failed to shout for help due to the lack of air in my lungs.

After regaining my breath after this brutal ski crash, I was joined by my best friend, Dean Bercovitch, and then a ski patroller.  I was able to gently ski down off the course and then the worry began.  I was thoroughly in shock and the pain was growing the longer I waited.  The common thoughts floated through my head, “What have I done to my body?  Ligaments? Bones? Organs? Joints?”  I hurt all over and decided I was unable to ski to the lift, thus began the trip to the Whistler Clinic. The patroller was worried about my ribs, my spine, my knee, my shoulder, but most of all my spleen.  I had growing pain in my upper chest which he informed me is a sign of a ruptured spleen.  So it was into the toboggan and down to the lift, followed by two lift rides to the village, a taxi ride to the clinic, a 15 minute wait, a chest X-Ray, an Ultrasound, and a urine analysis.  Over these hours a growing worry vied with a growing relief pending the results of the tests and the prognosis of my injuries from the Doctor.

After a couple hours in the hospital with my friends Dean and Bobby the doctor gave us the results of this brutal ski crash.  None of my organs were ruptured, but the urine analysis had traces of blood which indicated that my spleen and possibly one of my kidneys were bruised.  My knee was stable, my ligaments were all intact but my muscles and bone on the inside of my knee were bruised.  My left hip was similarly bone bruised.  My shoulder was alright.  My AC joint and rotator cuff weren’t damaged, I had simply severely bruised and strained my shoulder muscles.  My ribs were intact as was my spine.  All in all the doctor said he wasn’t overly concerned with anything but the bruised organs, which could rupture if they sustained any further trauma. So I was sent back to the hotel without any life or career threatening injuries, just a thoroughly traumatized body.  I have never been so sore in so many places.

The simple act of moving was a difficult dance of pain avoidance and the return drive to Montana was long and rough. Once back at home I was able to start the journey of recovery in full.  Ice baths, hot tubs, stretching, massages, and the occasional doctors visit filled my days.  I slowly improved as my muscles relented and the bruises faded from my bones and organs.  Slowly and gently I began to return to the activities for which my mind and body yearned. This is the most challenging, but rewarding aspect of the recovery process.

Recovering from a brutal ski crash takes patience. Having the patience and foresight to rest long enough, then relearning and remembering the movements which before were so natural before.  Golf was the first passion to which I returned.  The golf swing is a precise and flowing thing, and my doctor, Robert Amrine, believed it would actually be beneficial for my shoulder and back muscles to be stretched and moved. I started with just putting, then chipping, then the driving range, and finally a full round.  It is amazing how restless and pent up the body becomes after a month of inactivity and soreness.  The simple act of walking on grass, swinging a metal stick and hitting a little white ball relieved a a small, annoying black cloud of stress that had been hiding over my head for a month.

UMgolf

For me, the worst part about an injury is the period of time for which I am unable to do the activities I love. I always have a renewed energy for sports and the outdoors after having been denied them.

In a way, an injury has the bonus of giving you a different view on the life you live and the activities you enjoy.  It emphasizes how much the things we take for granted must be cherished because our ability to do them will not last forever.  My passion for using my body to interact with the world in a creative way is stronger than ever.

It is with this passion that I headed for Woodward at Copper.  I stopped halfway in Salt Lake for the night and 18 beautiful holes of golf the next morning before finishing the drive to Copper.

golf UT vista

I drove by the massive buttes and rock walls of Colorado and Utah as the sun set and pulled into the EDGE parking lot around 10.  I met up with my good friend and Revision Filmer, Mike Kvackay, before passing out for the night.  The next morning was my first real look into the world of Woodward.  Breakfast was great and it was gorgeous weather outside. We met up with the rest of the Revision crew in the lobby; Sandy Boville, Tanner Berg, and Chris McKeever, and hopped in the van to roll up to the main park.  The first couple laps are always the best when the snow is still cold and fast and it was a blast to have snow back under my feet.

The jump line was super fun to warm up on and start getting some tricks back. Especially one of my favorites, Switch Misty 9 Truckdriver:

woodward truck

 

The rail line was fun too, with some sweet down bars, a down-flat-down, a transfer rail, and a tube-spine.

woodward dfd

 

The mornings are great at Copper because you ski hard from 9-12 then get a break for a delicious lunch before deciding whether to ski more at one of two parks or have a blast doing some other activities in the Barn or at the Cage.  The other great thing about Colorado is the plethora of epic outdoors activities readily available.  Tanner Berg and I opted for a hike and found an epic CO mountain lake composed of direct snowmelt runoff, making it perfect for a short ice bath of the ankles.

COlake

 

The next day, we had a blast doing a Revision Skis Quarterpipe session on the side of the last table.  Many face-masks and stickers were distributed and much fun was had by all.  Campers and Revision skiers alike were throwing down surfs, stalls, and airs.

woodwarddubtip

The last day, we sponsored an afternoon activity, the “Ninja Challenge”, an obstacle course of our own design in the barn.  We utilized the pits, mats, wedges and foam blocks to create a challenging course and gave a pair of skis away to the fastest time.  Much fun was had by all.


Here is a camper demonstrating perfect diving form into the foam pit. Video Cred: McRae

 

 

Overall, Woodward at Copper was an awesome way to spend a week of summer.  Great crew of people, good vibes, good food, and two fun parks.  After a week at Woodward I feel super confident heading down to Chile in a couple days to film with the Poor Boyz Productions crew for the Undiscovered Project.  Keep your eyes peeled for some fresh content from down south!!

 

Just dropped: The first summer camp video of the season.Watch as Revision Skis athletes Sandy Boville, Ian Hamilton, Chris McKeever and Tanner Berg invade Woodward Copper.Video by Mike Kvackay.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153126201664877

Posted by Freeskier Magazine on Friday, June 12, 2015

 

Revision Skis Week at Camp of Champions

This summer marks the 28th year Camp of Champions has been running summer sessions up on the Horstman Glacier and we were stoked to be apart of it for Revision Skis Week! Sandy Boville, Chris McKeever, Sam Zahner, and myself Mike King headed up to Whistler, British Columbia for Revision Skis Week. Also cramming into the single bedroom with the crew was Liam Mckinley and Rachel Block to capture everything that went down behind the lens. Due to a lack of snow in the Pacific Northwest, the glacier has been receding at an accelerated rate. With more rocks showing and elevated temperatures, COC still managed to put together a world-class park. After the first couple laps we were quickly reminded how painful skiing is, but the young gun Sam Zahner quickly started going in to get the sessions started. After a long sunscreen filled day of skiing we packed a bus full of campers and athletes and headed to Whistler Bungee. Laughter and screams bellowed through the canyon as kids hurled themselves off a 160ft bridge. The stoke level was at an all time high. Dodge ball, skateboarding, and jumping on trampolines were some of the activities that went down after beautiful bluebird days on the glacier. Late nights followed by early mornings made this week one for the record books. Shout out to Ken, Shelby, and the rest of the COC staff for an awesome camp. See you next year! Words by Mike King, video by Liam McKinley, and photos by Rachel Bock.

Mike King and Sam Zahner at Revision Skis Week

Woodward Copper Photos

Revision Skis week at Woodward Copper went way too fast.  Luckily Chip Proulx was onsite to capture the action.  Thanks to Chip, we have a stack of excellent Woodward Copper photos to look back on and remember a great week at camp.  We are excited to go back again in the future and hope you enjoy looking back on our time at camp through the following Woodward Copper photos.

 


Woodward Copper Photos - Ian Hamilton

 

Woodward Copper Photos - The Salt Man

Revision Skis & Apparel

Learn More

Woodward Copper Photos - Revision Stickers Woodward Copper Photos - Sandy Boville

Woodward Copper Photos Chris McKeever

 

Chris McKeever Surfing Woodward Copper Photos

 

Ian Hamilton Revision Skis

Revision Skis & Apparel

Learn More

Chris McKeever Tanner Berg Sandy Boville

If you enjoyed these Woodward Copper photos and want to learn more about ski camps, visit: http://www.woodwardcopper.com/.

Typical days at Woodward Copper summer ski camp include skiing on snow at Copper’s summer version of the Central terrain park in the AM, Barn sessions in the afternoon and evening, and many additional recreational activities including skateboarding, rock climbing, hiking, music, and more. Campers live and eat at Copper’s Edge building, which is located right next to the slopes and right down the road from the Barn. The Woodward Copper Barn was recently renovated, opening the door far beyond skis and snowboards to now include skateboards, BMX and slopestyle mountain bike . The synthetic snow surfaces were replaced with a surface compatible with wheels. New additions include a new beginner foam pit with appropriately sized jumps and a pump track designed for honing your skills.

Woodward Copper Revision Skis Week

Woodward Copper Revision Skis Week

Well, it has been one hell of a week at summer camp! We had the pleasure of hanging out with a solid crew of stoked campers both on and off the snow. The park setup was prime and it was great to have such excellent snow in Colorado in June. We made a lot of new friends while skiing at Woodward Copper Revision Skis week and can’t wait to ski with them again in the future. During our off time, we took advantage of the skate park and the barn.  If you enjoy skating, you will have a great time in the skate park, which is loaded with sick features.  Also, the trampolines and dry slope/foam pit in the barn was a great way to practice new tricks that we were looking to bring to snow.  Whether we were on-snow, at the skate park, or kicking it in the Barn, the setup was prime and we made a bunch of new friends. Revision Skis Week came and went way too fast for our crew of Sandy Boville, Chris McKeever, Ian Hamilton, and Tanner Berg. We hope you enjoy this video that Mike Kvackay put together from our time at Woodward Copper.  We had a great time at camp and hope that comes through in the video.

We are looking forward to future Woodward Copper Revision Skis weeks, so please reach out to us and let us know if you will be attending too.  It’s a great way to meet and ski with like minded individuals while learning new tricks. Skiing a prime Colorado park setup in the middle of the summer is a great way to break up the offseason and be ready for the following winter.

Revision Skis & Apparel

Learn More

Woodward Copper Revision Skis Week - Chris McKeever

 

Powder Skiing Loveland Pass with Chris McKeever

Revision Skis & Apparel

Learn More

Powder Skiing Loveland Pass

Powder skiing Loveland Pass, Colorado is an absolute blast when your making car laps and getting fresh tracks with your friends.  Chris McKeever and friends have been getting after the powder skiing at Loveland Pass on their Subtraction powder skis this season. We hope you enjoy this video, which gives a great look at the ski conditions at the pass.

If powder skiing Loveland Pass is one of your goals, you’re in luck because the access is relatively easy and it is one of the best worst-kept secrets in backcountry powder skiing. To get the goods, you take Interstate 70 West to exit 216 and merge onto US 6 West toward Loveland Pass. Then you continue for 4.7 miles to the upper parking lot. The lower lot is located on the lefthand side on the third tight turn.

Car pooling with your crew is the most efficient way to manage powder skiing at the pass. That allows you to not have to worry about the waiting involved with hitching rides to the top. If you plan to ski the pass on the weekends, it will be a bit busier. This makes it easier to hitch rides, but you will also have to deal with more of a crowd on the terrain. Weekdays are typically a little less busy, which may lead to a little longer wait time for hitching rides. Ultimately, the best plan is to go with a group of experienced friends on a weekday in order to take full advantage.

Powder skiing at Loveland Pass, Colorado is characterized by terrain suited for many different preferences and levels of riding. Big lines, cornices, and chutes are there for the taking in the Western bowl and beyond. Or if your looking for low angle terrain, you can access it by dropping in closer to the road on the North side, or by taking a South/South-Eastern line on the West side of the road. Please note – with easy backcountry access comes responsibility. It’s important to make sure that you are a confident, well trained, experienced backcountry skier and that the other members of your group are as well.

Catskiing Canada with Fernie Wilderness Adventures

Revision Skis & Apparel

Learn More

Catskiing Canada

After a few months of somewhat hit or miss conditions here in the states, we were ready to go catskiing in Canada. The Trimmings crew along with the Revision Skis crew packed up and rallied north to go to the Canadian promise land. As we pulled up to the lodge at Fernie Wilderness Adventures (FWA), the snow had been hammering down all afternoon and we knew instantly that we would not be disappointed. Located in the northern Rockies, Fernie Wilderness Adventures’ catskiing Canada paradise has over 5,000 acres of gladed meadows, pristine pillow fields, and endless tree skiing. Serviced by two large passenger snowcats, and a handful of the happiest employees I’ve ever met, we knew we were in the right place. After day one, the common phrase repeated by everyone on the trip became, “I’ve never experienced that before!” Whether we were describing the bottomless powder, the amazing terrain, or the guides who couldn’t have been more accommodating, FWA had literally everything we could have asked for. Each day began with a delicious hot breakfast cooked by the staff before we piled into the snowcat and headed straight up to 7000 ft. Our options seemed endless plowing up and over knife ridges through blower pow as we hung our heads out the cab windows in anticipation of our next run choked with the lightest snow any of us have ever experienced. Each day was concluded with countless high-fives, a huge feast, and a soak in the wood-fired hot tub complimented by a few ice cold beers. After four days of living the life of luxury, reluctantly, it was time to part ways and return to our own lives. It goes without saying that we will, without a doubt, be returning next season to pick up where we left off! Thanks again to the entire staff at FWA for showing us the goods! Words by Jake Fagrelius.

Page 1 of 212