Missionaries of the Mountains

  Jonah Howell and me filming in Alaska in 2010.

Jonah Howell and me filming in Alaska in 2010.

I saw my first Powderwhore film in 2006—it was their second movie and a fellow telemark skiing friend of mine in New Mexico, where I was living at the time, introduced me to the small Utah-based movie company. I became a fan after that, watching their movies each fall and admiring the Powderwhore crew's devoted hunt for powder. A few years later, when I finally met Noah Howell, who runs and owns Powderwhore with his younger brother, Jonah, I asked him flat out: "Why don't you have any girls in your movies?" When he invited me to come out and try to ski with them, I nervously agreed. I figured I had nothing to lose.

Instead, I gained so much. I gained lifelong friends in Noah and Jonah and other members of their crew. I got to ski the best line of my life in Alaska. I got to ski backcountry lines and eat noodles in Japan with them. And I spent countless early mornings touring with them in the Wasatch. I appeared in three of their films, including their latest one, "Some Thing Else," which came out this fall and was their 10th film. This summer, I finally got the chance to write a profile on Noah and Jonah for Backcountry magazine. They joked during our interview that this might be their last film; they might be calling it quits after 10 years of moviemaking, they said. I didn't believe them. 

But shortly after the story came out, they announced (via a tattoo post on Instagram) that this was truly it. They were done making backcountry ski films. I'm proud of them for moving on to the next great adventure. But like I wrote in my story, I'll also bow my head in solidarity to honor the end of a great run. Thanks, Noah and Jonah, for inspiring an entire generation of skiers, including myself, to break their own trails.