Skiing deaths confirm old proverb: Mother Nature can be a real bitch

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C.R. Johnson in a hospital bed before he passed away in 2010.
Three times now, I've received a phone call that I never anticipated I'd get even once in my life. Two times, the call was from a friend who delivered the news; one time it was my mother. Though all three were different voices, each had a similar, haunting pitch and carried the same devastating message: Someone I knew had died while skiing, something I'd grown up doing.

See also:
- Photos: Joe Philpott's avalanche death may have accidentally been caused by dog
- Caleb Moore dies after X-Games crash in Aspen, first casualty in event's history
- Garrett Spencer, record-setting 19th Colorado ski area death, being laid to rest


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Level 1 Productions, Stept, MSP clean up at IF3 International Freeski Film Festival

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Level 1 Productions
Denver-based ski porn purveyors Level 1 Productions won big at the IF3 International Freeski Film Festival over the weekend in Montreal, with director Josh Berman and his team taking the top prize -- Best North American Film -- for their 2012 film Sunny, as well as Best Editing and Best Male Performance (for Parker White's part in the film). Sunny had its world premiere in Denver earlier this month and was a smash hit when it screened in Montreal on Sunday.

See also:
- Ski porn! The Westword guide to this season's biggest ski and snowboard video premiere parties
- Folsom Custom Skis, RMU, Icelantic dominate Freeskier Top 10 "Microbrew" list
- Colorado's smallest ski companies are going big


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Pre-Season Stoke: Keystone's A51 Rail Series kicks off tomorrow

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Keystone hasn't yet fired up its snow guns in the race to open the first white ribbon of a run for early-season shred, but that's not stopping the mountain from hosting the first rail jam of the season: The A51 River Run Rail Series kicks off tomorrow, September 15 -- if you can believe it -- with a new Backyard BBQ Rail Session for skiers and snowboarders.

See also:
- Ski porn! The Westword guide to this season's biggest ski and snowboard video premiere parties
- Folsom Custom Skis, RMU, Icelantic dominate Freeskier Top 10 "Microbrew" list
- Colorado filmmakers clean up at Chamonix Adventure Festival


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Folsom Custom Skis, RMU, Icelantic dominate Freeskier Top 10 "Microbrew" list

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Three of the companies featured in our January cover story on Colorado's "microbrew" ski industry just made the cut in Freeskier Magazine's Top 10 Skis list of the best microbrew and independent brand skis for the 2012-2013 season. And Folsom Custom Skis took the top spot with its Rapture skis, a new shape from the company.

In fact, Folsom filled four of the slots in the Top 10, also coming in at #2 with the all-mountain Completo (in a tie with the Wrenegade from Portland, Oregon-based ski maker ON3P); at #5 with its Quark park skis; and at #8 with its Gambit powder ski. Not too shabby.

See also:
- Colorado's smallest ski companies are going big
- Ski porn! The Westword guide to this season's biggest ski & snowboard video premiere parties
- Flylow Gear wins first annual Something Independent Snowsport Entrepreneur Award


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USASA National Championships under way at Copper Mountain

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Although this past weekend felt like the start of summer, there's still good riding to be had in Colorado -- and this week is also a prime opportunity to catch some of the country's best amateur snowboarders in action: The 23rd annual United States Snowboard Association's USASA National Championships got going yesterday at Copper Mountain and run through April 5, followed by the USASA Freeskiing Nationals April 7 through April 11.

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Sweetgrass Productions, Level 1, Stept win big at IF3 International Freeski Film Festival

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Colorado companies cleaned up at this weekend's fifth annual IF3 International Freeski Film Festival in Montreal, with Boulder-based Sweetgrass Productions taking Best Cinematography for Solitaire, Denver-based Level 1 Productions winning Best Editing for After Dark, and Boulder-based Stept Productions claiming Best Jib Movie for Weight (the Boulder premiere of Weight is coming up on October 13, 6:40 p.m., at CU's Math 100 Lecture Hall).

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This Weekend in Stoke: Adrenaline junkies, eat your heart out

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Turn out the lights! Director Josh Berman and his Level 1 Productions crew -- local heroes all -- are bringing it tonight at 8 p.m. for the world premiere of After Dark at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, 2637 Welton Street ($15). The twelfth installment in the Level 1 ski porn filmography features Colorado spots like Breckenridge and Telluride's Helitrax operation among a list of snowy locales around the world, as well as some of the biggest names in freeskiing, many of whom will be in the house tonight. For the After Dark trailer and more pre-season ski porn fixes, don't miss our comprehensive guide to all of this month's ski and snowboard movie premieres.

For other ways to get stoked this weekend, read on...

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Snow porn! This month's must-see ski and snowboard movie premieres

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Roll out the white carpet: Tomorrow night's world premiere of After Dark from Denver-based Level 1 Productions kicks off a busy Fall film schedule that serves as a reminder of just how awesome it is to live in Colorado, where -- for a few months, anyway -- we get the full Hollywood treatment from the ski and snowboard industry. Read on for snow porn trailers galore and a comprehensive guide to all of September's premiere parties in Denver, Boulder and Aspen. Buy your tickets ASAP: Every event on this list is likely to sell out.

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Carbondale's Vital Films unveils trailer for If You Want to Fly ski porn

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We came across this intriguing teaser for If You Want to Fly, from Carbondale-based Vital Films, Inc., while working on building out a mega-preview of all the many, many major ski and snowboard movie premiere events coming in September.

It will be the second full ski flick from the company, which is better known for its music videos and documentary projects, and it's a refreshing take on good old-fashioned ski porn. Here's a peek:

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International Olympic Committee brings Ski and Snowboard Slopestyle to Winter Olympics

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Yesterday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board approved the addition of ski and snowboard slopestyle events at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The announcement came yesterday from the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa, and follows an April announcement that ski halfpipe will also be a medal event in Sochi.

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