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Shot on location at Sol Mountain Lodge, in British Columbia Featuring: Olof Larsson, Drew Petersen, and Piers Solomon Produced by Dan Benshoff and Stephan Drake Directed by Ben Sturgulewski // Sturgefilm // sturgefilm.com Shot by Ben Sturgulewski and Dan Pizza Edited by Aidan Haley Sound Mix by Leonardo Barragan Music Management by Bodie Johnson Poetry by Buddy Wakefield – ‘Healing Hermann Hesse’
Hermann wants to eat nicotine
for a lot.
He paces space to make himself nervous
because some people are better at surving than living.
If you wanna get heavy
he’ll teach you.
He knows it.
Spends his time falling from the weight.
Got a lead brain.
It’s a battle magnet.
He carries it around by the guilt straps.
You didn’t see the size of the blizzard that birthed him.
Fits of snow.
Whipped white bullet stretches
pinned with chips of teeth
to his habit of crying for help.
He doesn’t land well. Hates landing.
It reminds him of not living up.
Hermann will not bow down
Falling, he catches up to himself mid-air
just before the ground smacks.
they call ‘im,
Nothing touches the ground here.
Ground is at capacity.
He sees that.
He falls back.
He patches parachutes together with a kiite knife.
It’s big enough to raise him in the updrafts
where he hides himself away in the angles of air
outlind by his knack for believing
that this life
it’s gonna work itself out.
Hey Dan, thanks for taking the time! Do you mind letting us know what you do for DPS Skis? Tell us a bit about DPS Cinematic.
I oversee design, marketing and PR at DPS Skis. I’m also the Executive Producer of DPS Cinematic responsible for planning, logistics and acquiring sponsorships for our annual short film series.
You guys are now onto Volume III of the Shadow Campaign. What was the catalyst in creating the series?
While DPS Cinematic launched in October 2014, it’s something that was incubating for years, especially given Stephan Drake’s—DPS’ Founder, close friendship with cinematographer Ben Sturgulewski (“Sturge”).
Several years ago Drake filmed with Sturgulewski (previously of Sweetgrass Productions, and now the principal at Sturge Films) in a Patagonia short film The Desert River, and then a couple years later in Sweetgrass’ Solitaire. Over the years Ben became part of the DPS family. We’ve always had a vision for some time to create DPS Cinematic, and it finally all came together in 2014 working alongside Ben. It is a visual extension of the brand’s impetus, the vagabond powder chasing lifestyle.
Did you guys ever expect it to receive the praise it did? Talk to us about some of the awards the series has won over the years.
Not at all. When you set out on projects like this it’s always a wild navigation of logistics and snow conditions. Luckily between the ideas floating around DPS HQ, combined with Ben’s artistic talent, the Shadow Campaign has flourished. We’ve been lucky to receive awards from Vimeo Staff Picks, Banff World Tour Selections, Telluride Mountain Film, 5-Point, and more. We’re honored that the reception has been this strong, and it allows us to continue with innovative ideas for subsequent seasons.
Why should skiers be stoked on this volume of the Shadow Campaign?
There is a lot of media to navigate throughout the internet. And, we feel that The Shadow Campaign provides a breath of fresh air. Through previous films like Whitewash, that were more powder porn, to artistic story-telling with Snowflake and Sun Dog, we’re trying to reach a broad audience that identifies with skiing and traveling to world class locations with athletes and cameramen. This season’s campaign has a mix of everything.
What were some of the obstacles you guys faced while working on this volume? How was the team able to overcome them? What were some highlights?
Weather and Time. Last season Sturge was also directing Ruin and Rose for MSP. He literally went back and forth from a DPS Cinematic shoot to an MSP one and vice versa all season. The most important thing was to be fluid in our planning. We scored on British Columbia’s early season storm cycle at Sol Mountain Lodge and then had plans for the main island of Japan. That turned sour with Japan experiencing a historical low snow year, so we swapped last minute to Turnagin Pass, Alaska in January!.. It was a crazy idea with the light being so low in the sky, but was something that Sturge had always wanted to do, with the benefit of the snow being stacked.
How have your team riders exemplified what DPS is about?
When Stephan Drake founded DPS in 2005, his vision was to build skis worthy of those who live and breathe the sport—with a goal centered around designing precise tools for core skiers to get the most from their craft—and ultimately, a brand identity that matched the lifestyle of skiers obsessed with the pursuit of global powder riding. The Koalas (our team riders) are an extension of that original vision forged over a decade ago. They are a small, but eclectic group who do what they love, and by no coincidence are grounded, ripping skiers whose lives are entirely centered around chasing pow—all part of the core fabric that shapes DPS.
Let’s talk about skis. What does your ski offer skiers that your conventional powder ski doesn’t?
Since 2005, DPS has redefined the boundaries of design in search of the perfect ski. Born from an obsession with the perfect turn, global storm chasing, and the transcendent mystery of a slide across deep snow, DPS has always been committed to elevating skier’s crafts with unmatched, high-tech tools born and bred deep in the mountains.
When Drake partnered with Peter Turner, who helped design the Spatula with the late Shane McConkey, there didn’t exist a brand that matched the 100% lifestyle dedication to the sport with high-end equipment manufacturing. At DPS, we’ve transferred the word “rocker” from surfing to skiing, introducing the first 120mm-waisted powder pintail, the first rockered ski with side cut, and then launched Spoon Technology. We have over a decade of experience in designing skis for skiers looking to maximize their performance, and with regards to powder skis it doesn’t hurt that the offices and ski presses are under the snowy shadows of the Wasatch Mountains, Utah.
What kind of skier is best suited for DPS’s lineup? What’s the inspiration behind your Paddle Tech design?
Intermediates to experts will have the most success on DPS Skis. We like to think that every ski built by the brand is something that any member of our team would ski given the appropriate conditions and have a great time—from the carving models in the Cassiar line to our fattest boards.
For years DPS’ most recognized models, and two that brought the brand out of the core powder ski market, have been the Wailer 112RP and Wailer 99. Both utilize Paddle Tech. PaddleTech Geometry™ is our original blend of rocker and variable sidecut. It allows skiers to engage camber underfoot on hard snow, and in soft snow allows the skier to draw on the gradually rockered paddle sections of the tip and tail for a longer effective edge. It allows skis to become incredibly versatile given their shape and size.
Many people probably don’t know that you guys are based in Utah. How important is it to be able to design, produce, and test your skis in your own backyard?
It’s extremely important for us to have the factory literally 30 minutes from the ski lifts in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons, Utah. When the factory re-shored production to the US from China in 2012, the benefit was immediate. That was the year we debuted Pure3 Construction and Spoon Technology. Fast forward several years, and it was equally integral in the development of Tour1, new shape—Wailer 106, an all mountain thoroughbred, and the new Foundation Line.
The US factory has also provided us the capability to scale production in a short selling season, increase jobs to the Utah economy, and gives us the ability to innovate faster than the competition while still keeping our margins and increasing sales.
What does DPS do differently than your traditional ski manufacturer?
I think our ability to produce our Pure3 and Tour1 constructions within the US and stay true to our brand ethos is a differentiator for us. There are quite a few smaller brands keeping production stateside, but they operate on a smaller scale. We are now playing in the medium sized ski manufacture playing field, and it’s competitive when you go against the big brands. So it’s important to continue to be at the pinnacle of innovative design and engineering, it’s the roots of our brand and we’ll always stay true to that because at the end of the day we’re skiers too.
What are your thoughts on the current state of ski media and content being put out these days? Both by brands, media outlets, production companies, and athletes
It’s jam packed. However, it seems that the viewers have begun to differentiate who the real players and actors are. It’s really awesome to see skiers from our team and other brands traveling around the world sharing their story and the unique mountain cultures they encounter. There were a couple years when anyone – no matter how well they skied – were getting sponsored or ‘hooked-up’ because of social media following. I think we’re moving past that now. Social media is playing a role more than ever, but it seems the viewership wants to see authentic storytelling not just staged images to sell products.
In anticipation of winter, and the current magical energy of fall, DPS Skis have assembled a gear kit that will carry you into the season when lifts start spinning and skin tracks are made.
Shop now: http://bit.ly/
Snow has begun to blanket high peaks in ranges around the globe, ushering in the promise of the 2016/17 season. October is a special month. It’s that ever-so-close tease of winter. It’s also the time when lunges, wall squats, and trail runs are in full swing for countless skiers envisioning that one magic run during that one relentless storm–a day that will sustain them into the summer, or perhaps for years to come. In anticipation of winter, and the magical energy of fall, we’ve assembled a gear kit that will slide you into the season when lifts start spinning and skin tracks are made.
About Sol Mountain
Sol Mountain is defined by the variety and feature-filled terrain, from widely-spaced old growth tree runs to epic wide-open alpine descents. The Monashee forests offer open glades for mellow cruising, and complex pillow lines for those who want steep with deep. Link a hundred turns in the alpine elevations or shoot down tight, treeline chutes. Exploration and adventure are part of the program at Sol Mountain and we are still discovering new lines each season.
NATURALLY SPACED TREES The Monashees have long been famous for tree skiing. Sol Mountain is one of the reasons why. Naturally spaced, tall old growth spruce forests extend to valley bottom. Definitely the place to be on stormy days – and to find powder stashes long protected from sun and wind.
WIDE OPEN TREELINE GLADES Sol Mountain terrain is buttressed by long ridges that are skiable from top to bottom. Skin along ridge tops and you will soon discover your line. Roll into a wide-open glade, or cut a few huge turns on a sparsely-treed roll. Maneuver through tight, crooked chutes, and stomp pillow lines. These ridges extend east-west for kilometers from the lodge.
ALPINE PEAKS, RIDGES, AND BOWLS When the Monashee storms subside, it’s always fun to get up high in the alpine. We have six unique peaks to summit right from the lodge, some with open bowls others with challenging couloirs. Each is skiable right from the top and we can link a few together for an epic tour.
STEEP PILLOWS AND CHUTES The featured Monashee terrain provides plenty of adventure skiing. Powder choked chutes and pillow lines galore if that is your game. Let our guides show you their favourite zones.
Strategically located in the snow-bound Monashee Mountains south of Revelstoke, British Columbia, Sol Mountain’s modern backcountry lodge is family owned and operated by Aaron and Sabine Cooperman. Not to be called a cabin or hut! Our three-story lodge was designed by backcountry skiers for backcountry skiers. Sol Mountain has comfortable private bedrooms, indoor bathrooms and hot showers, a toasty drying room, a wood-stove heated sauna, yoga and stretching studio, a full-service kitchen and bar, and high quality chef-made cuisine. Easy off the grid backcounty living so you can focus on what is important – the skiing. Contact Sabine by email or phone 250-674-3707 to book your trip to the lodge.