Alaska’s Denali National Park is home to some of the most epic terrain in the entire world (trust me I’ve been there). Denali itself is an absolute monster of a mountain and not just because of its 20,320 foot summit. Its giant crevasses, jutting crags, extreme temperatures, and steep slopes make it an awe inspiring place. Truthfully, it’s dangerous enough to climb up and down the summit, but to suggest climbing the peak and then skiing or boarding down it is sheer insanity. So when I came across the documentary camp4collective put together about The North Face team doing just that, I had to watch.
Denali provided the perfect setting for pro skier Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and pro snowboarder Lucas Debari along with professional climber/skiers Hilaree O’Neill, Conrad Anker, Ingrid Backstrom, Jim Zellers, Emilio Previtali and Giulia Monego to take on some seriously sick terrain. Director Jimmy Chin and crew did an amazing job of capturing the stunning beauty of the mountain as well as the impressive athletic ability of The North Face team as they sought to conquer it. All around, “The Denali Experiment” is an impressive piece of cinematography.
A large part of documentary shows the actual skiing and snowboarding the team does, but what I really found compelling were the looks into how each of the athletes processed the experience. By giving an intimate look into camp life for the North Face team, the director showed how unique individuals came together to achieve something amazing. What I love is that one can easily see passion behind each and every team member. You can tell they were united by the same motivation: to pursue adventure by skiing or snowboarding Denali. It wasn’t about proving any points about skiing being better than snowboarding or vice versa, they just wanted to do something amazing.
I don’t know about you but watching “The Denali Experiment” makes me want to get out on my snowboard and do something epic. I don’t think a 20,000 foot mountain will be on my radar any time soon, but I can’t wait to shred this winter. After watching this video, maybe you’re feeling the same way. If you are, drop a comment and tell me about it. Let me know what your sport is, where you want to shred, and maybe a little bit about your last adventure on the mountain.