When John Spriggs assembled a collection of professional and cross-country ski friends for his latest ski movie, the 33-year-old Frisco and the others found brotherly humor in a common characteristic.
“We used to joke that you had to be 30 or older to be a part of our crew,” said Spriggs. “A 30+ OG crew, but we’ve had a few good 20s in there. We’re just older skiers doing our thing, but it’s still a pretty big passion project.
In the world of off-piste skiing, Father Time is wreaking havoc on riders sooner than many other passions.
Spriggs, US freeski team pros Taylor Seaton of Vail and McRae Williams of Utah, and a collection of other accomplished ski touring friends reunite on Spriggs’ new short, “Must Be Nice” . The crew shows that with more years also comes more experience, a deeper history and more raw realities in the backcountry.
Even if the skiers themselves mourn the death of a friend, move away from competitive careers, or struggle with the kind of pain that only wear and tear causes, they have the wisdom to push the limits of their daredevil passion. in a wacky winter kingdom.
In “Must Be Nice,” it’s the town of Cooke City, MT, similar to Red Cliff, and big mountain skiing in the surrounding Beartooth Mountains, 45 miles northeast of Yellowstone National Park, just north of the Wyoming border.
“It’s, basically, right on the borderline,” Spriggs said. “You go through Yellowstone to get there and the road ends at the city.”
From there, Spriggs, gang and filmmaker Edward Clem – Spriggs’ co-producer on the 25-minute project – drove their snowmobiles into the Beartooth Wilderness.
Spriggs said he was proud of how “Must Be Nice” presents the best skiing in a more popular group approach rather than focusing on one singular and branded star.
“What’s cool about our project is that the movie is based around me, of course, but the shots come from everyone,” Spriggs said.
Spriggs said the box-canyon-shaped bubble around Cooke City maintains more ideal avalanche and snow safety conditions than in the greater region. This is where the majority of filming took place, although the crew also visited the towns of Victor and Driggs in Idaho, as well as Jackson, Wyoming.
Like Spriggs, Clem and Seaton’s previous effort in 2019 “Book of Pow” – which chronicled an impressive snow year in Colorado – “Must Be Nice” has its share of classic jaw-dropping big mountain skiing sequences. But on a more personal side, it shines a light on how these line, sequence and thrill hunters live in the backcountry.
Spriggs and friends agree they have a great lifestyle, but it’s a battle – whether it be the psychological resonance of returning to deep, snowy slopes after the death of close friends – Tony Seibert, Bindu Pomeroy and Johnny Kuo – the physical toll of the passion of lightning seizes their bodies.
Kuo’s death in February is still brutal for Spriggs, who learned of the accident while filming “Must Be Nice”.
“He was basically my backcountry partner when I was back in Colorado skiing backcountry lines or something,” Spriggs said. “He was kind of like a mentor and a friend in the backcountry and in life. Losing him in an avalanche was pretty devastating.
Spriggs thanked John Pritzlaff of Podium Sports for sponsoring the film, which will screen at ski film festivals in Europe and Canada this month before a December 1 post on YouTube.
Spriggs said he and Seaton are also working to set up premiere dates at Edwards’ Riverwalk Theater and hopefully at a location TBD in Summit County, while the other skiers in the film bring the film forward. -first near their hometown.
Spriggs said more information will be shared in the coming weeks on his Instagram: Instagram.com/jahspriggs.