‘Boom’: Bombs, Avis, Kicking Horse & the Overture of 1812

Cozy up to hand-thrown charges in this short, loud and lesser-known film from the Banff festival

The ski world garnered some high praise at the esteemed Banff Mountain Film Festival last week, with two films winning major catagories -- The Freedom Chair by Mike Douglas/Switchback Entertainment (Best Film – Mountain Sports), and All.I.Can. by Sherpa Cinemas (Best Feature-Length Mountain Film).

One of the lesser-known films at Banff was Boom, a three-minute short by Kicking Horse ski patroller Steve Crowe that played at a smaller venue Saturday night. A finalist in the short category, Boom was not a winner, technically speaking. Still, when it came across the Powder.com transom this morning, it caught our attention--bomb and avalanche porn set to Tchaikovsky has a way of, you know, doing that.

“Tchaikovsky, I thought of that a long time before I thought of filming bombs,” said filmmaker Crowe, a Kicking Horse patroller of six years. “The applause was polite,” he said of Banff, adding, laughing, “but nothing like when we showed it in Golden.”

“But then people had some very good questions afterward. I was impressed. People always hear the bombs going off, but rarely do they get to see them. The first question, actually, was your first question: Did you get special permission to shoot that? And the answer, of course, is no. I was getting paid. I’m in a fortunate position in that I’m there, I can do the work, and I call also film it.”

Crowe estimated the footage spanned over about 20 days during the 2010-11 season. As for the coming season, “Bootpacking just started yesterday,” he said today. “We typically don’t open til early or mid December. There’s just so many rocks to cover, it takes us a while to get going. Right now, it’s a pretty average snowpack, less than a meter in the alpine.” -- Tim Mutrie