Arts & Entertainment

Latest snow film travels globe to shred slopes

Andy Mahre was born to conquer a mountain. His dad, Steve Mahre, and uncle, Phil Mahre, are Olympic champions, so it stands to reason the 26-year-old would end up in a Warren Miller ski film.

Doug Stoup doesn't have Olympic relatives but he's a champion in the world of global thrillseeking, whether he's on a snowboard or skis.

You can catch both of these extreme skiers in Miller's new movie Wintervention on Nov. 13 at Richland High's auditorium.

Mahre joins Jonny Moseley for heart-pounding downhill action on the slopes in British Columbia. Stoup leads a four-man ski team to Antarctica.

Mahre's first Miller film was Children of Winter. He had no desire to follow in his famous father's footsteps and go for the gold in skiing.

"I never really had any desire to try and make my way atop that podium," Mahre said. "My dad always just wanted me to have fun. The influence I got from him was the first hand viewing of how to make a living skiing.

"Though we have done it in different ways, it all comes down to snow, gravity and smiles in the end."

Stoup made his first snowboarding descent for Miller's ski films in the 2001 movie Storm.

When he isn't performing magnificent feats for the camera, he's leading expeditions to remote areas of the planet. He's been to Antarctica 22 times. But thrillseeking adventures play second fiddle to his real platform -- environmental responsibility.

"I'm 46 years young and still like to see how far I can push human endurance," he said. "But it's more important to be a responsible person with the environment at the same time."

Not only does he take his clients -- he's the proprietor of IceAxe Expeditions based in Squaw Valley, Calif. -- on daring adventures, he also educates them on the importance of respecting the planet.

He explains his philosophical outlook, which you'll witness in Wintervention, as an opportunity to experience "the pristine and untrammeled beauty of the southernmost continent, marvel at sculptures of ice that only the hand of nature could create, ponder the complexity of the penguin colony and appreciate the vast silence of land unconquered by man."

Stoup's also had his share of near-death experiences in the past decade of leading expeditions to remote areas.

He's fallen into deep crevasses and survived. Lived through a few avalanches, and fallen into the Arctic Ocean without a wet suit.

"There are so many hidden dangers when you venture into the unknown," Stoup said. "I'm still a knucklehead sometimes and make mistakes that are pretty harrowing."

But it doesn't stop him from pushing the envelope of endurance. So is there anything this ski bum is afraid of?

"The 405 freeway in L.A. scares me to death," he said.

Besides Antarctica, Wintervention also takes viewers to snow banks in Austria, British Columbia, New Zealand, Alaska, Norway, Eastern Europe, as well as famous slopes closer to home such as Telluride and Vail in Colorado.

And along with breathtaking mountains, there's plenty of celebrity skiers in Wintervention doing their crazy thing on skis, ski boards and just about anything else on snow.

You'll see Moseley strut his championship style on the slopes, and he also narrates the film since the 86-year-old Miller is a fully retired ski bum these days.

Other well-known skiers who'll plow through the knee-deep powder in the film include Kip Garre, Zack Black, Jossi Wells, John Morrison, Andrew McLean, Lexi DuPont, Stephan Maurer, Phil Meier, Eric Themal and Richard Permin.

And there'll be plenty of those crazy snowboarders (or rippers as they're called on the slopes) doing the Miller thing as well, like Chris Davenport, JJ Thomas, Lindsey Vonn and Hugo Harrison.

Another thing that makes a Miller film so memorable is you don't have to be a skier to get sucked into the action.

The music will blow you away as easily as the skiing. And the segment featuring a couple of adorable baby polar bears is priceless.

Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at Richland High and at the same time Nov. 12 at the Capitol Theatre in Yakima. Tickets are $18 and available at www.ticketmaster.com.

Tickets purchased at Sporthaus in Kennewick avoid service charges.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com

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