While riding the Sublette Chair at Jackson Hole, a skier asks another if they’ve seen the latest Sander Hadley edit.
“Who is Sander Hadley?” I ask.
“Dude, you don’t know Sander Hadley? His edits have like 50,000 views.”
And just like that, I feel out of the loop. After Googling around and tracking down both his edits and phone number, I gave Sander, 21, a call to discuss his Internet fame, skiing hardpack, and getting props (and then some) from MSP Films.
Are you the next coming of Andrew Whiteford?
I know Andrew. I’ve been a fan of his videos since Mid-Wintahhhh.
People are hyped on your edits. Why do you think that is?
To be honest, I tried to stay away from the P.O.V. platform. I’ve seen how easy it is to oversaturate that and it ends up making the edits unenjoyable. A good friend of mine I grew up skiing with moved to Salt Lake at the beginning of winter. We were able to produce an edit in December, but then he went back home. So I had to take matters into my own hands. I wanted to try out the GoPro. I wanted to make a Candide-style video. That’s been the biggest inspiration for me.
I did not see the success of it coming. I only wanted to show people how I ski. The first one was inspired by a lot of shit-talking from other people, mainly on the conditions. There’s a lot of powder-elitists in Utah. I wanted to prove to them that I grew up skiing at a place with 150 to 200 inches annually and know how to make things work skiing on hardpack. I wanted to bring the same mindset to Utah and show people there’s always a good time to be had regardless of conditions.
Where did you grow up skiing?
A little place called Pebble Creek Ski Area. It’s 10 minutes outside of my hometown of Pocatello, Idaho.
Anybody say anything interesting to you about your edits? I heard you filmed a little bit with MSP.
That was crazy. I got a friend request from Scott Gaffney on Facebook. That was pretty much the world ender right there. My first ski movie was Ski Movie II: High Society. Seeing him talk about it positively was amazing. It was pretty darn cool.
Then they came to film. We filmed inbounds at Snowbird. We filmed a couple of the hits from my edit, The Way I See It, as well as a couple other things with Banks Gilberti and Cody Townsend. We did a couple trains. It was really fun. It was amazing skiing with those guys. I’ve been watching Cody forever and Banks is also from Idaho so I’ve been a huge fan of his skiing. They’re so knowledgable. The biggest thing for me was coming to the realization that these guys are complete dorks. All they talk about is farting, pooping, and stuff like that. It was so refreshing to see that. They have this larger than life halo but then you meet them and they’re just like your buddies from high school. It made things a lot less intimidating. It was quite the experience.