Steep | 2007
The story of big mountain skiing, a sport that barely existed 35 years ago. It started in the 1970s in the mountains above Chamonix, France, where skiers began to attempt ski descents so extreme that they appeared almost suicidal. Men like Anselme Baud and Patrick Vallencant were inspired by the challenge of skiing where no one thought to ski before. Now, two generations later, some of the world's greatest skiers pursue a sport where the prize is not winning, but simply experiencing the exhilaration of skiing and exploring big, wild, remote mountains. The man who is often described as the greatest big mountain skier of all, the late Doug Coombs who died in a skiing accident in La Grave, France, in April, 2006, is at the center of the story. His rich life and tragic death reveal the essential question at the heart of big mountain skiing: How does a skier weigh the risks versus the rewards of a sport where the possibility of dying is ever present? Also featured are many of the sport's greatest athletes including Bill Briggs, Stefano De Benedetti, Eric Pehota, Glen Plake, Shane McConkey, Seth Morrison, Chris Davenport, Ingrid Backstrom and Andrew McLean.