Sean Pettit 2015
The skiing of Sean Pettit, free-skier
Free To View
Producer/s : none given,
Director/s : Brandon Kelly, Guillaume Tessier
Writer/s : none,
Actor/s : none,
Falling with style
Sean Pettit doesn’t just ski, he free-skis. He does parquer on the mountain. Not content with mere virgin slopes, if slope is the right word for all-but vertical walls of crystal, he’ll ski up – up! – a rockface. Then down again. Backwards. He’ll ski up a tree-trunk.
He spends almost as much time in the air as on the snow, somersaulting, spinning, twisting. It’s not flying, it’s falling with fabulous style. The guy must have thighs of steel.
This is actually a trailer/teaser for a longer documentary (The Masquerade, available on iTunes), but it works alone. We see the valley, the lakes, and we see the helicopter, climbing higher and higher until we wonder if the air is too thin for the rotor blades to bite on. It flies over glaciers slashed with crevasses, and sawback ridges like sharks’ teeth, then amid its own personal blizzard it settles on ridge so small its runners overhang front and rear. And it rises away, leaving a man alone. He waves at a camera that must be even higher, and he’s off, a tiny streak of speed, a one-man avalanche.
The camera crew are the unsung heroes, and Mssrs Tessier, McGregor, Kelly, Horton and Whitley deserve mention. They must have got hours of footage over several descents, for some sections have tracks from an earlier runs. Hope they kept warm. It’s all brilliantly put together by editor Leigh Powys, fitting the action to the beat, mood and words of Elton John’s Rocket Man.
Perfect escapism, and highly recommended to accompany a cold aperitif on a hot beach.