F/W 16 - The Ski Movie Releases
Shades of Winter: BETWEEN
Shades of Winter BETWEEN became Peak Performance friend Matilda Rapaport´s last production before the tragic accident that cost her life during the summer of 2016. Matilda was a big part of the Shades of Winter crew and is honored with her own tribute part.
Join the sport’s best female athletes as they take on an epic journey,
filled with encouraging friendship and heart-stopping action, to the place that is… Between.
She’s a producer, a director and an athlete at her own production company Shades of Winter. How Sandra Lahnsteiner manages to keep things straight feels like nothing less than a miracle. So how does she do it?
“It’s impossible to combine all three roles at the same time, because all the roles require different abilities. Luckily, none of the them require me at 100% at the same time, even though I sometimes get the feeling that I should be closer to 200% to make things work. But in the end I know I can work hard under pressure, and with the goal in front of me I can push through and finish what I need to do. This kind of focus is coming from my role as an athlete, but that strength is of course just as important when it comes to the business and the creative side of my job. Jobs. Ha ha.”
It almost sounds like she is a machine, but those who have met Sandra in person knows that she’s as far from a machine as anyone can be. Always smiling and easy to hang out with, she is a true inspiration for everyone trying to juggle different parts of life together. So what are the biggest advantages of this juggling? “Even though there are periods every year when the workload is really heavy, I feel that I still learn new stuff every day, and that really makes it worth it. Every day is different. My office is mobile. One day it’s in the mountains, the next in a big city, and the third in an editing bunker. It’s not boring, that’s for sure!”
Sandra Lahnsteiner’s life is everything but dull, and the different roles in her life and productions doesn’t seem to interfere in a negative way. And it’s easier for her to talk about positive than negative things. One of the biggest rewards is to be able to inspire other girls to follow their dreams, and Sandra have really been showing what a single person with a strong willpower and talent can do.
This fall Sandra’s new movie BETWEEN will be premiering in big and small cinemas all over the world. Check out shades-of-winter.com to see where to get your dose of inspiration!
When spending time in and around the freeskiing industry, one quickly realizes that there are pretty many one-of-a-kind-people around. Sometimes you meet someone that’s a little bit extra interesting though, in a good way! Evelina Nilsson is one of those. With a background as competitive mogul skier, her skiing technique is solid as a rock. The young girl from the north of Sweden might look calm at first sight, but under the surface there’s a huge portion of energy.
“Energy has many meanings to me. It’s a constant flow that can never die, only transform. Just like The Force in the Star Wars movies. You can’t see it but you can feel it if you close your eyes. I search for these good vibes all the times, especially when it comes to skiing.” Learning how to ski with the badass locals in the fostering conditions in Åre, Evelina’s style is fast but controlled, with a lot of energy in it you might say. She attended her first big mountain competition at the famous Scandinavian Big Mountain Championships in 2012 and literally skied straight to the top, beating several international stars. Four years later she’s one of those global superstars, skiing on the Freeride World Tour and at the same time filming with Sandra Lahnsteiner’s production company Shades of Winter.
“I ski because it’s fun, because I love to be inspired and hope to be an inspiration for someone else. So when I am out there I do my best to keep the energy sunny and adapt to whatever conditions there might be. The mood in the group is key. In order for everyone to feel amazed by themselves after a day of filming it’s important that the vibe is good and that we’re actually helping each other and having fun. To see new opportunities and keep the flow going!”
Some people might be a bit hesitant to forces and good vibes, but when you’re hanging out with Evelina it’s just as natural as eating breakfast, and if you close your eyes you might feel her good vibe. And if you look closely there’s a glimpse of Yoda wisdom behind that warm smile...
The White Maze
When it comes to freeskiers, most of them seem to have a goal that looks something like: “Working my way up in the hierarchy and then get to do lots of heli skiing in Alaska until I get tired of it and then retire.” Matthias Mayr was just like many others, and the path he was walking led him along the freeskier’s “normal route”, but something changed.
“I felt a bit bored by doing the same kind of random skiing. AK was my big dream and goal, but after I had been there I was disappointed – it was not the adventure I had been looking for. My dream trip is adventurous from beginning to end. AK is a lot of waiting and a little bit of crazy skiing in between.”
It might sound like being a bit spoiled not getting satisfied while heli skiing in AK, but what Matthias started searching for is pretty much the opposite of spoiled, easy and smooth.
“I tried to find new goals. Places in the world that is fascinating, spectacular, unique. I quickly discovered though, that those places aren’t exactly around the corner...” Those who have seen the movie Onekotan – The Lost Island knows what Matthias is talking about, and that expedition for sure gives a whole new meaning to skiing in remote places (Onekotan is an island located between Japan and Kamchatka in the North Pacific Ocean and is often referred to as “the end of the world” in Russian literature). What most would consider as too much of an adventure, for Matthias it was an energy injection straight to the heart. Already on the flight back from the Onekotan expedition he started making plans for the next big trip.
“At first it was more like a joke. As we flew over the Cherskiy Range in Siberia – seeing nothing else than mountains and mountains for a long time – we laughed and said that maybe we should go ski this white maze.”
Almost one year later, Matthias is standing in the middle of nowhere, trying to dig up a car that’s stuck in the snow, 150 kilometers from the closest… anything. It’s -55 degrees Celsius, and the joke in the airplane, now reality, is feeling a bit less humorous… It’s quite easy to wonder if this really could be fun and if one actually can enjoy this sort of trips?
The experiences have changed Matthias as a person, there is almost nothing that can stress him anymore and he has gained a different perspective on life.
“After a month I come back as a new person, high on life…It makes my life even more worth living…in a different way. I enjoy the small things a lot more!”
Per Kristian Hunder has been one of the biggest names in freeskiing for more than ten years now, in spite of many injuries, the most serious one a broken neck in 2009. Most people might primarily have considered PK a competing skier, though he’s been part of the Field Productions core since before his big international breakthrough. After many years in the biggest slopestyle and big air competitions, PKs focus is now leaning away from that part of the scene. Why?
“Moving away from competition skiing is a natural progress in our sport. It’s rough on the body, the trick progression have been soaring the last years, and going out to train on the big tricks every day is not the same as it was five years ago. When I was 18 there were a few people over 30 in the top. Now there’s hardly anyone over 25. So… It felt like natural progression to me. And after ten years on the scene it’s also nice to take on new challenges.”
All aspects of freeskiing, from big mountain lines to gnarly street rails, have their own difficulties. They all have one thing in common though: it takes time and commitment to perform at a high level.
“When you’re filming for a park segment you often start shooting at a perfectly shaped jump. There’s a lift. Everything around the skiing is easy, so to speak. When you’re filming in the backcountry nothing is easy. You have to spend hours, sometimes days, building the kicker by hand. For every jump you do you have to hike to the top. Don’t get me wrong – I like to work out and get myself tired – but swimming in waist-deep powder and not getting anywhere can be quite frustrating. But that also makes the reward so much bigger. And that’s one of the things I really appreciate about this. When you land a trick in the backcountry you just… It feels like that trick is a lot more worth than any park trick, because there’s so much more work getting it in the bag.”
No pain no glory might be a cliché, but for the upcoming Supervention II there has been a lot of hard work for PK and the rest of the Field Productions crew, trying to exceed the success of Supervention, released in 2014.
Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen
Born in the mid 90s, Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen is still a young athlete, even in freeskiing. Yet she’s already won most big competitions a park skier can win, from X-Games to the FIS World Cup and doesn’t see herself as a newcomer.
“For me, 21 isn’t young anymore. I’m starting to feel old. Ha ha. But I guess that has to do with all the young and ripping kids popping up everywhere now. And I’ve been competing my whole life, first with my siblings, and the last years in freeskiing. So it doesn’t feel like I’m new to this game.”
“I just love the rush that goes through my body when I’m standing on top of a run, ready to drop in. It's terrifying, but also the most exciting feeling I know. You have two or three chances to land a run, and that’s what you get. But I love it. Training really hard for something, then showing people and yourself what you have been working on, and if you then end up on top of the podium, it’s the best feeling in the world.”
But those feelings also come with a price. Just as most professional skiers, Tiril have had her fair share of injuries, and that side of the sport isn’t only hard on the body.
“When I tore my ACL only a few months before the Sochi Olympics I had a big mental dip. I’ve never been more depressed in my entire life. At that point, skiing was everything for me. It took many conversations together with friends, family and mental coaches to understand that I had so much more than skiing in my life. So that’s what I focused on to get through the rehab. In a way that injury was good, because it made me realize a few good things, and when I got back I was stronger than ever both mentally and physically.”
Those new powers will come in handy in the future, since Tiril will combine competition skiing with a lot of filming.
“My main focus right now is competing. Maybe it will always be, cause that’s how I’m cut. But I do enjoy both, probably because they’re so different from each other. Competing is something you do more for yourself, while filming is a team effort. Both things makes me nervous, but in different ways. Competing is a lot “right here right now”, while filming is more about trying to be creative and inspire other people. And that’s a big part of it too. Especially to inspire other girls to go out there and shred!”
Even though Tiril sees herself as “old”, we know that she will be around to inspire others, both guys and girls, for many years to come. This fall it will be in Field Production’s Supervention II.