THIS 16-minute documentary by Vancouver filmmaker Jordan Manley — featuring skiers Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots — has won several awards in 2016 including “Best Film: Snowsports” at the Banff Mountain Film Festival and Vimeo’s “Best of the Year” in the travel category. It’s a fascinating look at China’s historical and modern relationship with skiing. In 1990 there were no ski hills in China; today there are 568 which mostly depend on manufactured snow.
But skiing is not a new sport in China. It has been practiced for thousands of years in regions of the country and was a hunting tool for the people that lived in the mountains. In the film, you get to see a pair of traditional skis being made from deadwood (including how they used horse hide on the bottom of the skis — ever wonder where the term “skins” came from?) and an explanation of how their ancestors used skis in a hunt. You also get to see Sayers and Coots ski into the crater of a volcano, and play around on one of the modern ski hills.