VIDEO A Skier’s Journey – the 3 Part Series

November 1st, 2010

Video & Photo | Jordan Manley
Interview | Tess Cook

Tracking a passage from Gulmarg, through La Grave and into the Canadian Rockies, this three part video series from Canadian photographer Jordan Manley is truly phenomenal.

I happened upon this video collection in vimeo and was blown away, it’s the most inspiring ski footage I’ve come across in a while. I tracked Jordan down and asked him about the series and where he gets the inspiration to create something so inspiring. And if you haven’t heard of Jordan Manley, here’s what Skiing Magazine had to say about him:

“For the second year in a row, photographer Jordan Manley – a frequent contributor to Skiing magazine – has taken the top honors at Whistler’s Deep Winter Photo Challenge. We’re not surprised. Manley is having a career year. He bagged the covers of both Powder and Skiing. He was published in Japan and Europe. And he snared a disproportionate number of pages in our December Best Photos of the Year gallery. You’d be forgiven for thinking this Vancouver, BC, native is a 50-year-old veteran shooter who cut his teeth in a darkroom in the ’70s. Or a turtlenecked and skinny-jeaned ex-New Yorker who assisted Annie Liebowitz. Manley, however, happens to be a 24-year-old kid from the burbs who studies political science at Simon Fraser University.”

What’s your background? How did you come to be a Mountain Adventure photographer experiencing such incredible things?

It all spurs from being passionate about being in the mountains, or outdoors, with people who love doing the same – and being equally passionate about trying to capture those activities and stories. My love for skiing came first, but my involvement with skiing and involvement with photography feed off of each other.

What was the impetus for this particular project, A Skier’s Journey, and how did it all come together?

I think quite a few skiers identify as cosmopolitan skiers – we use skiing as a reason and an excuse to visit different landscapes and cultures throughout the world. A lot of ski films feature skiing from all over the world, but it’s mostly just that – the skiing. My goal was to try and give context to the places where skiing happens. Arcteryx and Gore-tex supported the idea and off we went.

You clearly have a strong connection to La Grave and the Rockies, where are your skiing meccas?

I’m not sure I believe in the idea of mecca. La Grave has been an influential place for me, it is one of my favourite places to visit and ski. The La Grave episode was trying to pay tribute to that a little. But there are hundreds of other great places to ski within close drive from La Grave as well. Not that I’ve been everywhere, but there are so many amazing places to ski in the world. Skiing at home in British Columbia on the coast is also pretty special to me.

These videos portray just simply incredible skiing in amazing places, but it’s understated and humble at the same time – skiing for the love of it – what’s your approach to the skiing lifestyle?

Well, I think I’m a skier first and foremost, so I think I/we just tried to show why we love to ski and travel. We simply documented what we were skiing, and played it back in a way that gives the viewer time to think about what they are watching. The conditions weren’t always the “best”, so that reflected the reality of any given ski season with its ups and downs.

What new projects are on the cards?

It looks like we’re going to do another 3 episodes this coming season, so we’ll be doing a little more globe trotting, as well as shooting a lot of photos along the way. I’ve got a larger documentary in mind as well, and I’m working on a photography book about Home that will be out next winter.

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Production – Jordan Manley
Skiers – Chad Sayers & Tobin Seagel
Narration – Chad Sayers
Animation – Chad Manley
Music – “Ringa Ringa” by AR Rahman
“Bachpan” by Gurpreet Lally & Arshpreet
Special thanks to Anthony Bonello

La Grave
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Production – Jordan Manley
Skiers – Chad Sayers, Chad Manley, Tobin Seagel, and Jordan Manley (POV)
Narration – Chad Sayers, Bruno Florit, and Joe Vallone
Animation – Chad Manley
Music – “Comme des enfants (Le Matos Remix)” and “Fondu au noir” by Cœur de pirate
“Moth” by Brian Borcherdt
Audio post-production – Marlowe Northcott
Special thanks to Michel Morere, Téléphérique La Grave-La Meije

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Production & Narration – Jordan Manley
Writing – Jordan Manley, Chad Manley
Skiers – Eric Hjorleifson, Chris Rubens, Callum Petit, James Heim
Additional footage provided by Sherpas Cinema
Music – “Johnny Rooke” by Elliot Brood
“Sweet Little Duck” by Kathleen Edwards