The Valhalla forest segment: skiing the trees, literally
Have you seen Valhalla yet? The film won Movie of the Year at the Powder Awards last week. It’s a groundbreaking ski film because it follows a fictional plot line from beginning to end: the hard shredding, nomadic protagonist happens upon a tribe of hippie skiers in a woodsy skier’s utopia, and deals with love, loneliness, ecstasy and disillusionment along his journey.
The film features a long, hilarious nude skiing segment that has gotten a lot of attention (you can watch it here), but it also features an amazing sequence filmed entirely in the forest near Glacier over the course of two years.
The forest segment is equivalent to many urban segments in modern ski movies: athletes execute aerial maneuvers, jibs, stalls and slides that interact with objects in the environment other than snow. The forest segment in Valhalla is completely devoid of snow, lending a dreamlike and surreal vibe to the whole scene. Skiers backflip through trees, air over 30-foot waterfalls, stall high up on Douglas firs, and float slow motion through a completely lush, mossy forest with no snow in sight.
Read this Powder Magazine article to learn how Sweetgrass Productions director Mike Brown got the shots with help from Glacier local pro skier Zack Giffen, who stars in the film.