“We cannot live on the red line, but [if] you will never touch it, you will never push it, you will never progress”-Sylvain Saudan
Words: Jake Fojtik
Every once in a while, an athlete, or group of athletes, revolutionizes what’s possible in skiing. Think Candide’s Chad’s Gap jump, or E-Dollo’s nose butter triple cork 1620 in the 2013 X Games. Currently, Jérémie Heitz and Sam Anthamatten are ushering in a revolution in ski mountaineering.
Heitz’s 2016 film La Liste is one of my favorite ski movies of all time. The opening shot of Jérémie ripping the Aiguille de l’Amone, as the quiet score gently swells, represents the perfect combination of aesthetics, athleticism, risk, reward, technical skill, and creative expression in the mountains. I can’t watch it without getting goosebumps.
The injection of high speed, super-G turns was a necessary evolution in the world of ski mountaineering, where lines in the Alps were saturated with chicken-scratch scar marks left from too many hop turns. Jérémie and Sam brought fluidity, speed, and style back to the Alps, an antidote to the traditionally slow, staccato tempo of steep-skiing descents. Not only is the film superbly shot (thanks in part to the expert eye of Guido Perrini), edited, and scored, but it also stands as a statement to what is possible on a pair of skis in the big mountains, and a launchpad for all future progress in the disciplines steep skiing and ski mountaineering. Since 2016, film projects like Tof Henry’s Born in Chamonix and Victor de Le Rue’s Frozen Mind have carried the torch set by Sam and Jérémie (and Xavier de Le Rue before them), bringing speed and style to iconic lines.
After two years of climbing, skiing, and filming, and an additional 10 months slated for the 2019 season, the intrepid Swiss bromance is back, bringing their game-changing style to the biggest peaks in the world. La Liste: Everything or Nothing will showcase the former Freeride World Tour athletes attempting the new style 6000m peaks, from the jagged mountains of the Andes and the towering peaks of the Karakoram and Himalayan mountain ranges.
The film will feature legends Jimmy Chin (fresh off his Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo), Travis Rice (whose trailer for his own film project Dark Matter just dropped), and steep skiing legend, Sylvain Saudain. Saudain, known as “Skier of the Impossible,” owns more notable first descents than anybody else on the planet. He put first tracks down Monte Rosa, Mont Blanc, the Eiger, Denali, and Gasherbrum I in the Himalayas, all in the era of straight skinny skis.
Shot and produced by Sherpas Cinema, who already have some of the most creative and mind-bending ski movies to their name, in collaboration with Red Bull Films, this film is not to be missed.
La Liste: Everything or Nothing will be released in the Fall of 2020. [Editor’s Note: the release of La Liste: Everything or Nothing has been delayed until 2021.]