Sherpas Cinema director/producer Eric Crosland.

Journeying ‘Into the Mind’

Ripping down a mountain is more than just a physical feat, it’s a mental one. Freestyle skiing is all about balancing risk versus reward.

Ripping down a mountain is more than just a physical feat, it’s  a mental one. Freestyle skiing is all about balancing risk versus reward.

Sherpas Cinema’s new feature-length ski film, Into The Mind, takes you inside the head of a pair of common skiers as they ascend the ultimate mountain in search of a powder paradise.

“It’s a reoccurring scene in the movie,” producer/director Eric Crosland explains. “These guys keep hitting obstacles in their climb and they need to make a decision whether to keep going.”

Each decision point introduces an athlete segment in the film, made to appear like a dreamscape in the minds of the men on their trek and helping inform their choices.

“It’s not a happy, fluffy ski movie by any means,” Crosland says. “It’s story driven and very serious topic by the end.”

Crosland, originally from Calgary, lives in Nelson with his wife and son — that is, when he’s not travelling the world in search of snow.

Into the Mind was filmed over two winters in places like Switzerland, Bolivia and Nepal, as well as in our own backyard around Whitewater Ski Resort and Retallick Lodge.

He said one of his favourite locations visited for the film was Denali National Park in Alaska.

“It was super cold and super rugged, but it’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth,” he says, describing the heavily glaciated, Himalayan-size mountains and the -30 C temperatures they endured on a daily basis. “You’d see kilometres of thick ice hanging everywhere and it would crack off right in front of you.”

He also spent a lot of time with an 80-something-year-old sherpa in Nepal who shows up in the film to symbolize the person who controls the Earth’s cycles.

“We really wanted to learn about the mountains and do something different with this film,” Crosland says. “There’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in it.”

While many production companies focused on ski/snowboard/mountain bike films pump out a new release every year, Crosland and his team are more interested in longer-term projects.

“You wind up with a better product at the end that the viewer enjoys way more,” Crosland said.

Into the Mind is screening at the Nelson Civic Theatre this Monday at 6:30 and 9 p.m. The early show is all ages, with children under 14 offered free entry with an adult. The late show is licensed, and you must be at least 19 to enter the theatre.

Tickets are $12, available in advance at Gerick’s Cycle.