Teton Gravity Research’s New Film “Stoke The Fire”

Each year, the fine folks, filmmakers, and stoke-inducers at Teton Gravity Research grace audiences around the world with a frothy ski movie to inspire bigger lines for the upcoming winter. This ethos, to get out and explore, strikes to the core of onX Backcountry. That’s why this year, we’ve partnered with them to help support their international tour starting September 18, in their home of Teton Village, Wyoming.

This Year’s Film

Never a dull moment with their rowdy cast of shredders, this year is sure to bring a unique flair. Characters like onX Backcountry Ambassador Griffin Post will leave viewers thirsting for tasty turns in powder paradises like Montana, Alaska, and British Columbia. While these skiers are at the top of their class, this film goes on to explore a much more ethereal subject, “What is ‘stoke’”? An often ineffable, inimitable, and fleeting feeling of elation is something that these pioneers of the backcountry try, sometimes comically, to express.

We’re Going With Them!

Be on the lookout for onX’ers at a few of the tour stops including Teton Village, Seattle, and Salt Lake City. We’ll be able to give you a rundown of key product features, demonstrate how the onX Backcountry App is an essential tool for any backcountry skier, and do our part to impart stoke onto your evening and season. We’ll be giving away prizes so stay tuned to our Instagram Page for full details.

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Who To Watch

Griffin Post

In this year’s film, the star-studded cast of rippers run the gamut from first-time filmers in Alaska to seasoned veterans who view the landscape like their own personal canvas. One of those veterans is skier Griffin Post. On his 20th trip to Alaska he was viewed among his peers as the map guru. TGR Producer Jonathan Desabris commented, “Griffin can sniff out skiable terrain like no other. He figures out where to go and, more importantly, how to get there. He’s due for much of the credit of how great the Alaska segment turned out.”

Photo Credit: Eric Parker
Athlete: Griffin Post

How onX Helped Make It Happen

Using onX Backcountry, the crew was able to drop myriad Waypoints while in a helicopter during a scouting mission. The flurry of pin dropping didn’t lead to the most creative names, but identifiers like Square Top and Jagged Ridge combined with photos enabled them to do several things. The first was timing their shoots. Having seen the way the light hit a certain face at a given time the previous day, they were able to replicate that for an amazing shot the following. Additionally, things such as slope angle played a paramount role in being able to come up with backup options. “The beauty of onX is not just in its role as a primary navigator, but in its ability to house Plan B, C, and D. All of a sudden it becomes easy to have backups. Legwork on the front end can save weeks when you’re there,” says Post.

Photo By: Eric Parker

Griffin’s Line

In the line illustrated below, Griffin Post showcased strategic decision making, pure skill, and a helping hand from onX Backcountry to pull together one of our favorite lines from the film. In a zone deep in Alaska’s backcountry, Post landed in the chopper outlined by a helicopter Waypoint in the upper right corner. He then traversed the purple line summiting at the ski Waypoint. The red line denotes his actual ski descent followed by the yellow hike out. Keep your eyes peeled for this line in the movie.

Shooting In A Pandemic

While it’s no secret that the past few years have been tumultuous, the crew at TGR did their best to alleviate some of that distress with comedic relief. “We often take ourselves too seriously in the ski game,” says Desabris. “We wanted to showcase the looser, more goofy side of what we do and poke at this concept of stoke.” For outdoor enthusiasts, these pursuits have been a momentary escape, but shooting a feature film during this time was no easy task. “We took 500 COVID tests and got our vaccines in a Walmart in Alaska,” Desabris says. “We wanted to avoid this being ‘The Covid Film,’” but it’s tough to disassociate from the global context. They shopped out their production to include pods of crew members, some from Montana, some from Alaska, and others from British Columbia—doing their best not to overlap folks on production. 

Post reflected on the fact this had to become a “backyard shoot.” He says, “Out of necessity we started filming in zones that were close for athletes and the production team.” Trips to exotic locales like South America and Europe were out of the question. But in some respects, that reflects what many recreationalists did this past year as well—revisited their favorite lines close to home. So this year’s film isn’t so much a “Covid Film,” but more of an homage to backyard zones.

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Mitch Breton

Mitch Breton was raised on the shores of Maine's coastline chasing fresh snow, trout, grouse, and the best darn mosquito repellent money can buy. Covering topics from fly fishing, car camping, and beyond, he thrives on a story well-told.