This year’s celebration of winter adventure from Warren Miller Entertainment serves up the usual spectacle of skiing and snowboarding in exotic locales that always makes viewers ache to hit the slopes and envy the ability of those who make extreme look easy.
There is also a surprise in this year’s film: a segment that depicts cross-country skiing as you’ve never seen it before that prominently features Aspen native Simi Hamilton.
The “Face of Winter,” the 69th installment of the iconic Warren Miller series that marks the beginning of winter for more than 300,000 viewers annually, is the first since Miller’s death in January at age 93. The film, now touring through Colorado, ends with a sweet tribute to the man who created the genre and attracted millions to winter adventure in the high places.
The cross country segment stands out not only because Nordic skiing is rarely seen in Warren Miller films — this is only the eighth time in seven decades, and the first since 1986 — but also because it makes cross country look fabulously cool.
‘SUCH A COOL SPOT’
In August, a Warren Miller crew went down to New Zealand to film U.S. Ski Team cross-country racers — including Hamilton, a three-time Olympian — while they trained for their upcoming season. What we get to see isn’t languid skiing over the river and through the woods. This is the styles of skate skiing and kicking and gliding above timberline, against the backdrop of majestic panoramas filled with steep, massive mountains.