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Mountain Film Release: The Winter of our Content

December 9, 2016


Film by Mike McPhee/Island Lake Lodge
Write-up by Tera Swanson

Shot entirely at Island Lake Lodge Catskiing in Fernie B.C., Winter of our Content is a story of weather, powder skiing, terrain, inspiration and pushing your personal limits. Watch some of the top skiers, snowboarders and wing-suit athletes in the world explore the Lizard Range of the Rocky Mountains. Athletes include Nick McNutt, Lucas Debari, Rob Heule, Dash Longe, Tim Durtschi, Dane Tudor, Ben Ogilvie and Trace Cooke. Narrated by Chuck Ragan. 

Nick McNutt in action.

Nick McNutt in action.

“Now I can answer the question I get asked all the time: ‘where’s the best place you’ve ever skied?’. I can actually find the answer to that question – with full confidence, I know exactly where that is.” Athlete – Dash Longe, ‘Winter of our Content’

Island Lake Catskiing has been a long-time friend in bringing world-class athletes, terrain, and powder together into one sublime trifecta. Building traction as a focal cat-skiing destination in the summit decade of ski movies, the 90’s brought big-budget films from the area such as Grey Stump Production’s ‘p-tex, lies and duct tape’, Matchstick Production’s ‘Fetish’, Teton Gravity Research’s film ‘The Prophecy’, and, more recently, Sherpas Cinema’s ‘The Balance of Powder’.

It’s on this foundation of reputation and terrain that ‘The Winter of our Content’ was born, to inspire the next generation of freeskiers and snowboarders.

With over 7,000 acres of backcountry to be explored, a cherry red snowcat crisply contrasted against a sea of white brings adventure-seeking spirits together, before dispersing them again onto the Lizard Range’s fresh snow canvases. Each one to create their own narrative in both stretching new personal limits, and embrace the pure emotion of sharing these moments with the other.

There’s no shortage of ski films these days, so what sets this one apart? Aside from illustrating a premier stage for cats, helis, wingsuits, athletes, and a big air ramp for kicks, ‘The Winter of Our Content’ is parented by the crafts of professionals spanning several fields. From the writing of respected ski writer, Lesley Anthony, to the three-year story production of Creator and Director Mike McPhee, to 24 days of high-definition filmwork with best-in-class equipment, time, deliberation and attention to the finest of details are evident throughout the piece. The result? Powder and stoke-candy for the soul, to transcend future decades as a pillar in cat skiing films.

“In the end, powder skiing out of a remote wilderness lodge isn’t so much indulgence as cheap healthcare.” Voiceover, The Winter of our Content.

Watch the Film

Shot entirely on location within the depths of Island Lake’s dramatic Lizard Range, near Fernie, B.C.

Presented by Island Lake Lodge, with support from The North Face, Teton Gravity Research, The Ski Journal, The Snowboard Journal. Created and directed by Mike McPhee. Produced by Mike McPhee and Doug Feely of Island Lake Lodge, and Chris Ashley. Written by Leslie Anthony.  Narrated by Chuck Ragan. Director of Photography – Josh Pearson.

Equipment used: Red Cameras and Sony FS 700’s. Gyro Stabilization System cameras.

Tera Swanson is a freelance writer and graduate from Mount Royal University’s Journalism undergraduate program. Whether laced into hiking boots or clipped into skis, her favourite way to explore the mountains is on her own two feet. She’s always up for anything that will end in the telling of a good story; be it through photography, from pen to paper, or over a locally brewed amber ale.

The views and opinions expressed in the articles on are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editor, the editorial team or the publishers.

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