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Couch Country 

Experience the thrill from your sofa with these lesser-known outdoor films and videos

Do you need a recovery day from your extreme winter sports habits [err addictions]? Are you exhausted from playing chicken with reckless drivers on the icy slip-n-slide that constitutes Cascade Lakes Highway this time of year? Have you decided enough is enough with the if-then-else flowchart required to secure a Mt. Bachelor parking pass? Can't even score a vehicle space at Dutchman Flat Sno-park without leaving town at an ungodly midnight hour, accepting the reality of an overflow parking ticket or circling the lot 100 times? 

Local Kaleb Riley created fun, lo-fi videos of his recent trips—worth drooling over during these times. - IMAGE COURTESY @KALEBARILEY
  • Image courtesy @kalebariley
  • Local Kaleb Riley created fun, lo-fi videos of his recent trips—worth drooling over during these times.

With much ado over self-inflicted overuse snow injuries, concerns for safe driving and difficulty finding parking—not to mention the ever-present COVID scare—maybe you want a rest day on the couch... and maybe you want to watch some backcountry porn while you're vegging out. If so, read on for the author's go-to off-piste big screen stimulation station favorite media pics. 

Disclaimer: I enjoy diversity in narrative above all else. The same demographic hucking big air has been on rinse and repeat dominating so many channels for long, I thought I would give us all a hiatus and focus on narratives with less-represented angles. Thanks for being willing to try something new!

Main stage:

Listen to the Eyes - Artsy, with rough-cut flair, this Shred-Betty-centric piece is produced by Vans. A 15-minute downtempo film short with tons of abstract snow blower texture shots is reminiscent of 1970s surf—and possibly early skate—zine-style vibes set against a big mountain backdrop. 

Full Moon Film - Interviews sprinkled with commentary on the drought of female role models in the industry, this film mixes modern cinematics with many film styles. This is the latest and greatest in pure snowboard vibes, untainted with surf or skate. 

Out on a Limb - Lead profile Vasu Sojitra says this film is not just for people with disabilities, it's for people who don't fully know what they are capable of... and full disclosure from Sojitra, it was mostly filmed with a Walmart camera. The base plot is profiling a super humble super graceful mono skier. 

Solving for Z - Understand the risks and rewards of backcountry through the narrative of veteran Teton (and beyond) backcountry guide Zahan Billimoria. This is a classic to keep on the shelf and harkens to ever-present concerns about the inherent risk in backcountry snow sports —even from the pros. 

What to pack - Mountaineer Caroline Gleich and skier Brooklyn Bell break backcountry gear down. Great guidance for the novice and super solid suggestions for veterans. Plus, who doesn't love seeing Bell on screen... mountain biking, backcountry, this girl does it all! 

With much ado over self-inflicted overuse snow injuries, concerns for safe driving and difficulty finding parking—not to mention the ever-present COVID scare—maybe you want a rest day on the couch. - IMAGE COURTESY @KALEBARILEY
  • Image courtesy @kalebariley
  • With much ado over self-inflicted overuse snow injuries, concerns for safe driving and difficulty finding parking—not to mention the ever-present COVID scare—maybe you want a rest day on the couch.

Locals only:

Tumalo Day & We skied at Crater Lake National Park - Local director/videographer Kaleb Riley put together a couple fun shorts with homecourt Oregon-based terrain. His fun attitude and home video vibes are extra special for those hailing from the Oregon Territory. Could there be a more beautiful time and place to film than a Crater Lake full moon drop? 

Backyard Beta with Katherine Jondro Donnelly - This is a hilarious comedic backyard Facebook backcountry spoof training clip. Donnelly uses more juicy sport-specific slang than the author of this story you are reading.

Calling Women In: Avalanche Education - Shejumps is a national and local women's outdoor collective focused on empowering women in the outdoors. This panel discusses challenges for women in the backcountry and addresses the myth: "There's not enough room at the top." As women professionals, Shejumps believes in deconstructing this myth and proving there is plenty of room.

Upcoming Mountain Film Fest - Sure to include some backcountry footage amongst other outdoor sports clips, this is a can't-miss local fan favorite annual event. Shows start Feb. 26. Tickets available through The Environmental Center webpage. This year's version will be a new virtual and streaming experience featuring two weekends of spectacular films.

About The Author

K.M. Collins

A native Oregonian, K.M. Collins is a geologist-gone-writer. Covering everything outdoors and a spectrum of journalism, she's a jack of all whitewater sports and her favorite beat is anything river related. Don't blow her cover as a freshwater mermaid amongst humans.
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