There’s a scene in the new Warren Miller film - “Snowriders2” - where the owner of a dilapidated, single-seat chairlift in Kazakhstani checks the avalanche conditions, considers the team of rogue movie-makers about to ascend his hill and, through an interpreter, gleefully informs them, “You’re very welcome to go skiing … but you will die.”
Of course, they don’t die. But the daredevils who populate this, the 48th installment of Warren Miller’s ode to the outlaw snowrider, seem to flirt with death everywhere they go, from Kazakhstan to Denali, and from Switzerland to New Zealand. (Although not, as promotional posters suggest, in outer space.)
And weapons of choice aren’t just skis and snowboards. Miller expands the arsenal of self-destructive devices to include kayaks, windsurfers, mountain bikes … even ersatz “body bags.”
Miller narrates the mayhem in his usual witty, irreverent style, accompanied by the music of Counting Crows, Ditch Croaker, Horny Toad, and Big Head Todd & the Monsters, among others.
Most of the footage manages to make blasting through powder look second-nature to the participants. But one sequence - a “Warren Miller Tryouts” outtakes (a.k.a. “Snowsliders2”) - has the opposite effect. You’ll wonder if humans were ever meant to traverse the white stuff at all.
The closest Miller gets to our neck of the woods is Retallack Lodge near New Denver, B.C., a four-hour drive north of Spokane.
That footage alone - snowboarder floating through (and soaring over) last year’s record-deep powder - is enough to send alpine enthusiasts rushing to their nearest place of worship to pray for snow.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Two screenings “Snowriders2” will screen at 6 and 9 p.m. Saturday at the Opera House. Admission is $12.50. Tickets are available at the Spokane Center box office, Loulou’s in Spokane, Lookout Pass Bike & Ski, and all G&B; Select-A-Seat outlets, 325-SEAT or (800) 325-SEAT.
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