VIDEO: Have Shovel, Will Ski

And you thought you were determined to ski

Most videos in the Internet sphere of the ski world are filmed in powder paradises, featuring creamy turns in deep snow, paired with a fresh tune and fancy edits. And then there are videos like this one, the kind that strip an experience down to a statement. I appreciate both, though when I see the latter, I pause. These are the videos that reflect skiing as I know it: Pure passion, no sound beyond the outdoors, imperfect conditions, and patience.

Based in Whitegrass, West Virginia, filmmaker Joel Wolpert shoots mostly running films, with an emphasis on mountain settings. But his roots are at the down home ski area that is Whitegrass with owner Chip Chase and his sons.

“Whitegrass feels more like a family, almost a movement, than it does a resort,” says Wolpert. “I love their approach of just making the most of what you’ve got.”

Wolpert sent the videos my way after reading Heather Hansman’s feature on skiing in Westbygod, Virginia, in the February 2016 issue (44.6). I suggest you pick the magazine up to get a full picture of West Virginia’s skiing life, which is unlike any other in North America.