Film

Winter Starts Now

A flurry of films

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Mt. Baker Ski Area reported its first dustings of snow recently, with an “especially good hit” falling Weds., Oct. 6. During a short video from Chair 7, longtime Operations Manager Mike Trowbridge noted that, “Forecasts for this winter are looking pretty good, with another La Nina winter headed our direction. That should be a good combination of above-average precipitation and below-average temperatures, which should translate to a good amount of snow for this coming season.”

A flurry of films on the horizon should help those excited about this news get in the mood for a spell of time on the slopes. The fun begins at a Bellingham Winter Kickoff party taking place Thurs., Oct. 14 at Twin Sisters Brewing Company. The benefit for the Northwest Avalanche Center is being hosted by Mount Baker Experience magazine, and will feature the screening of vintage Warren Miller movies and Mt. Baker Slush Cup videos, as well as a raffle for tons of outdoor gear from local businesses known for supporting winter outdoor recreation. Those in attendance will also have the chance to win tickets to a screening of Warren Miller Entertainment’s new movie, Winter Starts Now, which is showing Nov. 6 at the Mount Baker Theatre as part of a national tour (more details follow). When: 6pm-9pm Thurs., Oct. 14. Where: Twin Sisters Brewing Co., 500 Carolina St. Cost: $5 suggested donation. Info: http://www.mountbakerexperience.com

The following night, The Approach Film will elevate people of color, women and adaptive athletes at a screening of the action-driven ski and snowboard film at the Mount Baker Theatre. Working with the North Face, director Anne Cleary highlights a unique group of people—including big-name athletes such as Bellingham-based mountain biker, skier and artist Brooklyn Bell, Vasu Sofitra, Leanne Pelos, and Spencer O’Brien, and rising stars Ingrid Backstrom, Emile Zynobia, Sophia Rouches, and Anna Soens. The evening begins with a social and beer hour with Fat Tire, followed by an athlete introduction and pre-film reels before the big event. Pick up a couple of raffle tickets while you’re at it, and who knows what sort of cold-weather goodies you’ll go home with. When: 6pm-9:30pm Fri., Oct. 15. Where: Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. Cost: $5-$10. Info: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com

Fast-forward to Weds., Nov. 3, when Teton Gravity Research’s Mountain Revelations film hits the big screen back at the MBT. The setting for the backcountry blowout is Alaska’s Chugach Mountain Range, where pro snowboarders Jeremy Jones, Ryan Hudson, and Rafael Pease undertake a human-powered, 10-day mission to explore epic lines on the scary-steep terrain. The film goes deeper than what’s on the surface of the mountains, however, exploring the roles each athlete’s background had on their respective paths to the expedition. When: 7:30pm Weds., Nov. 3. Where: MBT. Cost: $10-$15. Info: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com

Next up is the 22nd annual Mt. Baker Film Fest, which takes place virtually on Fri., Nov. 5. Since 1999, the indie film festival has been the best way to highlight the wonders of the fiercely independent ski area, which recently sold all of its passes for the 2021/2022 season in a short amount of time—82 percent of them to locals from Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties. Day passes will still be available even if you didn’t get in on the action in time, so rest assured you can still make your way to the mountain, and settle in to watch the ski and snowboard films from your chosen watch location. When: 6pm Fri., Nov. 5. Where: Online. Cost: Free. Info: http://www.mtbaker.us

By the time Warren Miller Entertainment’s 72nd annual feature film Winter Starts Now makes a tour stop in Bellingham on Nov. 6, chances are good more flakes will have fallen on nearby slopes, and you’ll be better prepared to jump into your boots at a moment’s notice. This year’s offering follows skiers and snowboarders from coast to coast—from Alaska’s Prince William Sound to Maine, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and California—and acts as an homage to those who find solace on the chairlift. “If we learned anything from last year’s most unusual winter,” says Warren Miller Entertainment’s Micah Abrams, “it’s that skiing and snowboarding and life in the mountains provide a release and a reprieve and a reminder of what matters most.” When: 7:30pm Sat., Nov. 6. Where: MBT. Cost: $23. Info: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com

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