Shot entirely at Island Lake Lodge Catskiing in Fernie, the Winter of our Content takes the viewer on a never-before-seen, intimate journey of pro skiers and snowboarders carving and ripping through the world-renowned range’s awesomely-beautiful bowls and alpine passageways. During filming, the athletes flexed their free ski muscles with a skilful mix of tricks from peak launches and cliff jumps, and showed some expert flair with big air from a purpose-built ramp – all resulting in mountain loads of eye-candy for the camera.

McPhee_TGR_Tim Durtschi ILL

Yep, if you were in need of enhancing your stoke level for the season, look no further. Island Lake’s latest ski flick breaks the mould from all of its movie installments to date; taking the cat and heli-ski experience to a ground-breaking new level, and delivering the most ambitious film project the cat-ski operator has taken on yet.

“Now I can answer the question I get asked all the time: ‘where’s the best place you’ve ever skied?’. I can actually find the answer to that question – with full confidence, I know exactly where that is.”
Athlete – Dash Longe, ‘Winter of our Content’

The concept was simple. Bring together some of the finest, most daring skiers and boarders of the moment to be introduced to the cliff faces of the notorious Lizard Range and bask in some deep-digging powder turns.

McPhee_Ben Ogilvie_ILL

But, Island Lake Lodge is no stranger to being the host playground for big-budget ski movies, selected to be the backdrop for Grey Stump Productions’ ‘p-tex, lies and duct tape’ in 1994, before playing host to Matchstick Productions for the creation of ‘Fetish’ in 1996, and again to Ride Guide Productions in 2008, with the shooting of ‘Ride Guide TV’. More recently, Sherpas Cinema’s descended at Island Lake to film ‘The Balance of Powder’ hit in 2011.

Indeed, the nineties have become to be referred to as the glory days of cat-skiing and ski movie-making – and Island Lake Lodge was firmly at the heart of the action. Having quickly earned a reputation within ski circles for being a majestic mecca for powder around this time, Island Lake consequently attracted North America’s leading ski production companies to flock, and film big backcountry at its best.

McPhee_TGR_Dash Longe_ILL

It was largely down to the pro skiers and boarders of the time – the likes of Scot Schmidt, Jake Blatter, Jason Ford, Seth Morrison, and Craig Kelly – that chose to make their turns at Island Lake, that had such a hand in the almost-overnight high profile Island Lake garnered through the 90s decade.

These were the glory days, when Island Lake Lodge was frequently dominating the pages (and covers) of the major ski titles, such as Powder and Transworld Snowboarding. The appeal of carving heroic powder turns at Island Lake exploded to being on the top of every powder hound’s bucket list – and inspiring the new generation of pros to wonder about what it would be like to have a piece of the epicness seen in the movies.

Cat-skiing, with its ability to suddenly make untouched terrain an easy-reach reality, was the one to chase during these pioneering years. And Island Lake Lodge, being one of only a handful of cat-ski operators at the time, was the one they dreamed about.

McPhee_Nick Morris_ILL

This incredible influence Island Lake had in the pro ski and snowboard worlds of the latter part of 20th century, became the driving force of creating a modern-day perspective in high-def.

The end result? A production that got right back to the rawness of cat skiing; the thrill of pushing boundaries, getting the heart racing, and letting the cameras roll when top pros are unleashed to do their thing at Island Lake. And just like the Scot Schmidt’s and Craig Kelly’s before them, today’s pros were blown away by getting neck-deep in the fresh pow of the Lizard Range.

But that’s enough of a scene sneak peek people, check out the film:


“The Winter of our Content” 2016.
Presented by Island Lake Lodge, with support from The North Face, Teton Gravity Research, The Ski Journal, The Snowboard Journal. Created and directed by Mike McPhee. Produced by Mike McPhee and Doug Feely of Island Lake Lodge, and Chris Ashley. Written by Leslie Anthony. Narrated by Chuck Ragan. Director of Photography – Josh Pearson.
Photos: Mike McPhee