Stoked for winter? I am too. And what better way to sustain that stoke for the 65 days until Opening Day at Big Sky Resort than to catch as many ski and snowboard movies as possible this fall. Here's a look at my fall of 2014 favorites:
1) Matchstick Productions' Days of My Youth
Big Sky Resort will be at Days of My Youth premiere in Missoula Oct. 3 and Big Sky Oct. 18. Come say hi!
2) Jeremy Jones' Higher
Jeremy Jones has been blazing a snowboard documentary trail for five years now as he explores the limits of what big mountain freeride snowboarding means in Deeper (2010), Further (2012), and Higher (2014). Check out Higher in Bozeman on Oct. 9 and Missoula on Oct. 10.
3) Teton Gravity Research's Almost Ablaze
TGR continues to impress with film from athletes Angel Collinson, Dana Flahr, Ian McIntosh, and Sage Cattabriga Alosa. See it with Big Sky Resort Sept. 26 in Big Sky.
4) Warren Miller's No Turning Back
Anything Warren Miller produces hits close to home as he resides in Big Sky so much of the year. Just hearing that iconic voice of ski movies makes me want to ski. This year it's no different. Check out No Turning Back in Helena Oct. 24, Missoula Oct. 25, and Bozeman Oct. 26.
The Rut 2014 kicked off on a brisk Friday morning at the Mountain Village Base Area at Big Sky Resort. The Vertical Kilometer promised to be challenging but a quick race to the top of Lone Peak. Salomon team runner Kilian Jornet impressed spectators and fellow racers with a Vertical K time of 46 minutes 12 seconds and a 50K time of 5 hours 09 minutes, taking first in both events. The Rut doubled in size since its inaugural year in 2013. Not only did the race bring out regional and local running fanatics, but brought the best of the best in the Ultramarathon world as the SkyRunning World Series Ultra Final. Congrats to all runners. Check out a few photos and highlight video from The Rut and see you next year.
Filmed and edited by Michael Jezak.
Captain America nearly at the Vertical K finish line at the top of Lone Peak. Photo: Anna Husted
Madison Base Area check point of The Rut 50K. Photo: Anna Husted
Kilian Jornet arriving at the 50K finish line at the base area of Big Sky Resort. Photo: Anna Husted
Emelie Forsberg crosses the 50K finish line, winning the women's overall division. Photo: Anna Husted
Men's overall second place finisher Sage Canaday shakes hands with first place finisher Kilian Jornet. Photo: Anna Husted
Mike Foote and Mike Wolfe of Missoula, Montana, started The Rut 12K & 50K in 2013 at Big Sky Resort. For 2014 they added the Vertical K on Friday, Sept. 13. More than 1,000 racers will be at Big Sky Resort this weekend to participate in The Rut and 50K Skyrunner World Series Ultra Final. Here's what Foote had to say about The Rut and ultramarathons:
How was The Rut conceived? Give us a bit of the back story.
Mike and I both have travelled and raced extensively in other parts of the world, especially in Europe, and we were inspired but the challenging and technical mountain terrain where these events took place. We were also impressed by the amount of celebration around these events by the local towns and the culture in general. We are excited to bring that energy back to our home turf in Montana and the US. There are few races in the states which have the severe terrain The Rut 50K and VK showcase. We also just wanted to have fun with this and have a reason for folks to come run in some of the best mountain terrain Montana has to offer.
So Big Sky Resort was always in the top running for an ultramarathon for you and Mike Wolfe?
Lone Mountain and Peak had the terrain we were looking for, mixed with the infrastructure of trails to use and the amenities of a world-class resort to host thousands of runners with their friends and family. It was an easy decision.
The Rut was such a hit last year, what can you tell me about the 2014 course? Any updates?
We had so much fun with the race in 2013 that we didn't want to change the atmosphere too much. With that said, the race has more than doubled in size and we made the course harder. Yes, that has been the goal all along. We have added some stunning ridge line terrain on the Headwaters Ridge and a brutal climb up a steep 45 degree scree slope to gain the ridge. It's going to be awesome.
Also, we are now the final of the prestigious Skyrunner World Series Ultra category. This has attracted many of the best mountain runners in the world.
About how many hours have you worked on The Rut trails?
*Laughs Good questions. We have worked a couple days on the Headwaters section. It is the most technical sections of the course so we wanted to make it flow better through certain sections to provide more safety in the exposed terrain.
We know there's a lot of physical preparation for any ultramarathon, but how does a runner mentally prepare for The Rut?
Every runner is different. I think I would recommend accepting the suffering that will occur on the course as opposed to fighting it. I would also recommend working to be relaxed the week of the race. It's easy to get overworked and overstressed. Lastly, focus on the positive. It will help you perform to your potential.
You both are also well-known for competing in Ultramarathons (not just directing one), what was your favorite race of 2014 besides The Rut?
For me, I really enjoyed the Lavaredo Ultra Trail 120K mountain race in the Italian Dolomites I participated in this June. It had all the elements we want to have at The Rut. It was well organized, went through incredible mountain scenery, and was a celebratory atmosphere with thousands of runners and spectators.
Any other comments?
We have Elk Hides branded with the Rut logo for finisher awards this year. Finishing this race is quite the accomplishment and we are excited to honor that with some Montana flare.
Big Moon Rising Music Festival took place during Labor Day weekend of this year and brought the funk to Big Sky Resort. Although the weather did not play in Big Moon's favor, Friday and Saturday nights were high energy crowds with lots of love for Keller Williams with More Than A Little, Dumpstaphunk, Andrew Gromiller and the Organically Grown, and, of course, The Family Stone. The Family Stone played all the hits: "I Want to Take You Higher," "Stand!" and "It's a Family Affair," and Keller Williams started his set on the floor of Whiskey Jack's among the crowd. But don't let me do all the convincing, check out the highlights from Big Moon Rising:
Video: Michael Jezak
The Family Stone began touring a few years ago as quasi-tribute band quasi-Sly and the Family Stone reunion band. The Family Stone boasts three original members from Sly and the Family Stone including saxophonist Jerry Martini, aka Papa J, drummer Greg Errico, and trumpeter Cynthia Robinson. Needless to say this is more than your average funk band this is rock greatness coming to Big Sky Resort.
In 1969, Sly and the Family Stone played perhaps their most memorable show at Woodstock in Bethel, New York. A band as vital to rock history as The Family Stone deserves more than just a little praise as they promise to bring the funk and fun this weekend and preserve that memorable psychedelic funk sound. And that's just Saturday night at Big Sky Resort's inaugural Big Moon Rising Music Festival August 29-30.
Friday night promises just as much funk and improve as Saturday with New Orleans' best funk band Dumpstaphunk.
"Dumpstaphunk has grown from a small side project into one of New Orleans' most prestigious modern funk ensembles," said Benjy Eisen of Rolling Stone in the late-May 2013 issue. This is no ordinary funk band, but a 5-piece blues, soul, and rock ensemble that attacks and entertains. If Rolling Stone's street cred isn't enough, The New York Times called Dumpstaphunk the best funk band from New Orleans. Enough said.
Following the main acts at Big Moon Rising will be after parties at Whiskey Jack's featuring Cure for the Common on Friday night and Andrew Gromiller and the Organically Grown on Saturday.
Opening acts include more jazz and funk with multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams and Bozeman's own Andrew Gromiller. It's a weekend not to be missed.
Purchase single day and weekend tickets for Big Moon Rising Music Festival here.
Big Moon Rising Music Festival features:
The Family Stone
Keller Williams (with More Than A Little)
Andrew Gromiller and the Organically Grown
Cure for the Common
Forrest and Friends
Keller Williams with More Than A Little
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