‘Legend Has It’ honors the pioneers of skiing with plenty of stoke
Before Colter Hinchcliffe was a professional freeride skier — traveling the world in pursuit of adventurous lines, often in front of a filmmaker’s camera — he was just a kid in Aspen, hooked on the sport and the stoke that came with it.
He grew up on ski movies and now stars in them himself, often alongside the same athletes he admired growing up. And in the latest film from Teton Gravity Research, those icons of skiing play a central role: The title is “Legend Has It,” after all.
“There's a really cool kind of element there, skiing with heroes and the people I thought were legends back then,” said Hinchcliffe, who appears in several of the film’s segments. “And I still think they're legends, and they're still my heroes, but now, they're my friends.”
One of the segments with Hinchcliffe also looks several generations back, to the 10th Mountain Division soldiers in World War II who became “pioneers” of skiing in the mid-20th century. It’s part history, part present-day adventure, as Hinchcliffe and a small crew of other athletes travel to a backcountry cabin in the hut system named for those skiing pioneers.
“That was kind of a theme of the film is, ‘What does ‘legend’ mean to you?’” Hinchcliffe said.
“To me, it's sort of like looking back at the people who got us here,” he added.
There are, of course, plenty of breathtaking mountain shots and jaw-dropping skiing scenes too, in destinations from Colorado and Wyoming to Pakistan and Patagonia. Whoops of athletes’ joy echo through nearly every scene, and Hinchliffe said he often senses plenty of excitement from audiences, too.
“The stoke is palpable in these rooms while people are watching this stuff, and I'm just happy that I can share that with the local community,” Hinchcliffe said.
“Legend Has It” will screen at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen on Friday, and at The Arts Campus at Willits (TACAW) on Saturday. There are two screenings scheduled at TACAW: a family-friendly matinee for all ages and an adults-only evening screening for people 21 and older that features a whiskey tasting and an athlete Q-and-A with Hinchcliffe and other skiers from the film.
Two other ski movies are also on the docket this fall: A new Matchstick Productions movie, “The Land of Giants,” screened at the Wheeler on Thursday, and Warren Miller Entertainment’s “All Time” will play at the Wheeler on Nov. 30.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect a screening that has already occurred.