When renowned freeskier Chris Benchetler first pitched his creative vision for a Grateful Dead-inspired ski-slash-snowboard-slash-surf film, we imagine the response was something like, “You’re trippin’. You wanna do what?”
In a night ride sequence filmed in the slice of Mammoth Mountain known as the Hemlocks, a cast of the world’s best skiers and snowboarders (plus Rob Machado!) descend their lines wearing skeleton-like LED suits as pastel blues and purples blanket the mountainside. It’s as if the whole sequence is on another planet.
Since the crew began production last season, we’ve been aware of Benchetler’s pet project, but finally we’re able to see the fruits of his labor and damn if it doesn’t feature one of the most interesting night riding sequences put to film in recent memory. Plus, the entire soundtrack, as you’d expect, is the Grateful Dead. Highly recommended viewing.