Ski Films - Spirit of Snow, Cinema Vertical

Dave O'Leske

Adventure Cultural Environmental Filmmaking and Photography

About Us

Outdoor Adventure films ski movies
Through a Child's Eyes Productions Backcountry Adventure Ski Films


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Spirit of Snow Trailer

SPECIAL JURY AWARD Telluride Mountainfilm 2002
Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival 2002
Williamstown Mountain Film Festival 2002
Durango Film Festival 2003
Taos Mountain Film Festival 2003
Rossland Mountain Film Festival 2003
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY Golden Film Festival 2004
ISPO Winter Trade Show- Munich, Germany 2004
Vermont Ski Museum- 2004
Colorado Mountain Club Mountain Festival-2004

Upcoming Screenings:
Look for Spirit of Snow in Video on Demand from The Ski Channel

"Spirit of Snow" is a soulful and enlightening glimpse into the ethereal beauty of backcountry powder skiing. Powered only by the human spirit, skiers explore the most spectacular mountain landscapes in North America. This film will take the audience on a journey into the backcountry through the eyes of the earliest pioneering powder skiers, a 10th Mountain Division veteran and an avalanche forecaster bridging the gap between generations. The lure of the backcountry experience is contrasted with the reality of personal responsibility and inherent backcountry dangers.

"Spirit of Snow" stars Inga Prime, Dick Durrance, Dolores LaChapelle, Earl Clark, Jerry Roberts and Erik Schultz. Featuring the skiing of Dave Evans, Jeff Lyga, Sean Leschke, Jeff Wenger, Mike Leake, Dave O'Leske, Desiree Rothschild, Donna Raupp, Nan Darkis, Donna Veraguth, Beck Shatles and many others. Soundtrack features the music of Johann Pachelbel, Greg Brown, Nordisk Sang, Tommy Dorsey, 10th Mountain Division troops choir, Widespread Panic, Dave Matthews Band and The String Cheese Incident.  Directed, produced and edited by Dave O'Leske.  Assistant director & producer: Jeff Wenger.  Music produced by: Patrick Ledwith. 

"A cinematic paean to the backcountry..." Peter Kray, Couloir Magazine,

"This is not ski porn, the equivalent of six crotch shots a minute. This is about the soul of skiing." Ace Kvale, Telluride Mountainfilm 2002 juror,

"Mountain majesty and winter gruffness, work and play, friendship and aloofness – all the ironies and narcotics of backcountry skiing are there." Allen Best, The Durango Telegraph

"A dazzling cinematic celebration of powder skiing."
Art Goodtimes,  The Telluride Watch 

"A magnificently filmed story of the history and allure of backcountry skiing ... the purity of the mountains and virgin snow are shown through incredible cinematography." Taos Mountain Film Festival,

"Dave O'Leske has created something that's not just uniquely entertaining, this movie is an important historical document ... Beyond that, the video simply rocks.  It is a must-have for any lover of backcountry skiing.  Two tips way, way up!"
Mitch Weber,

"O'Leske taps a nerve that will intrigue ski historians and powder zealots alike."   Adam Howard, Backcountry Magazine,                       


Cinema Vertical - History of Ski Filmmaking

Upcoming Screenings: 


Telluride Mountainfilm 2003
Taos Mountain Film Festival 2003
Kendal Mountain Film Festival, England 2003
X-Dance Film Festival 2004
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival 2004
Oslo International Mountain Film Festival 2004
Moscow "Vertical" International Mountain Film Festival 2004

Each year, skiers can count on the latest ski films traveling through the country to whet their appetites for the winter to come. These films have always been entertaining and often awe inspiring with each filmmaker adding their own unique twist to the subject. When were the first ski films made? Who was making them? How did they do it? How have they changed? Who skied in these films? Who is making ski filmsCinema Vertical - History of Ski Filmmaking today? All of these questions and others will be answered in our latest film.

We will meet the people involved and learn about their inspirations and goals. We will watch the evolution of the ski film from black and white ski chases during the 1920s, to recruitment films for the Tenth Mountain Division during WWII, to modern day footage of extreme skiers in remote mountain ranges throughout the world. This documentary will share the hard work, determination, danger and fun that all ski filmmakers past and present have in common. Intimate interviews and archived footage, will guide the audience through the timeline of the ski film and the people who created it. We feel this film will have important historical value and will become the main reference for an incredible film genre.

Dick BarrymoreCinema Vertical stars Otto Lang, John Jay, Herbert Schneider, Dick Durrance, Warren Miller, Dick Barrymore, Roger Brown, Barry Corbet, Stein Eriksen, Jim McConkey, Greg Stump, Scot Schmidt, Glen Plake, Scott Gaffney, Steve Winters, Murray Wais, Todd and Steve Jones and Shane McConkey.
Directed, produced and edited by Dave O'Leske and Stash Wislocki.