Skiing / Winter Sports

China: A Skier’s Journey

I wrote about a new stadium in China’s ancient capital earlier today but now we’re looking towards the Altai mountains where China meets Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Siberia. Intrepid skiers Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots took to the mountain range as part of a series called A Skier’s Journey (this is Series 4 Episode 2) where the pair explore different countries and their ski culture.

Skiing as sport is in it’s infancy in China, a phenomenon of the country’s exploding middle class. As a means of survival, however, it is thousands of years old, a stone age hunter-gatherer technology born in the Altai mountains where China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Siberia merge. On a vast trajectory that spans 11,000km of Northern China, Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots touch down into the rich past and dizzying future of these two respective Chinese ski cultures. As one rapidly expands, they find the other is at risk of disappearing.

The film won Best Cinematography at the 2016 Adventure Film Festival, Best Film at the Winter Film Festival, and Best Snowsports Film at the Banff Centre Mountain Film + Book Festival.

Fun fact: China has over 700 ski resorts and more than a million winter sports enthusiasts, but most prefer to ski and snowboard abroad because it’s cheaper and safer.

Film credits

  • Director/Producer/Camera/Editor: Jordan Manley
  • Starring: Chad Sayers & Forrest Coots
  • Associate Producer: Laura Yale
  • Field Producer: Jeffrey Oliveira /
  • Script Consultants: Daniel Irvine, Chad Manley
  • Additional Sound Design and Mix: Jeff Yellen
  • Motion Graphics: Blair Richmond

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