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Sherpas Cinema, From the Streets to the Screen – by Mike Berard

JP Auclair
Photo: Eric Crosland

Sherpas Cinema, From the Streets to the Screen

by Mike Berard, Coast Mountain Culture Magazine

How Sherpas Cinema and JP Auclair went viral with 2.5 million views.

In the insular world of freeskiing the tendency to overestimate our sport’s appeal to the mainstream is common. We hate the fact that ski racing and freestyle still demand television coverage over halfpipe comps and Alaskan steep segments. Bode Miller still gets more play than Eric Hjorleifson, and our co-workers still don’t “get” urban skiing. We believe we’re bigger than we actually are and get annoyed when our mom doesn’t know who JP Auclair is. But with the success of one particular segment, the Quebec City-based Auclair has become one of the few freeskiers to break out of the microcosm of the ski world and stand tall in front of the eyes of the world.

Shortly after the release of the award-winning and groundbreaking ski flick All.I.Can., Sherpas Cinema posted an Auclair segment on Vimeo.com and watched something never seen before happen—people outside skiing actually noticed.

The five-minute masterpiece features Auclair literally skiing the streets of Trail, Rossland and Nelson, B.C., airing, jibbing and handplanting his way over cars and concrete. A slow-building LCD Soundsystem track plays soundtrack to this ode to creativity, directed by Sherpas mad genius Dave Mossop and Auclair himself. The most amazing part? It’s pure freeskiing, without a gate in sight. Well, maybe a front-yard gate.

**Warning this segment will give you goosebumps**

After six months online, the video has garnered 2.5 million views, with the comment section featuring a global mix of feedback illustrating the wide reach of video. With comments from Spain, Brazil and Russia, and an endorsement by none other than LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy—who provided the soundtrack for free—the segment even made its way into an MSN ad that aired in Times Square, NYC. This proves that, while freeskiing may not have made its way into the mainstream, it can still capture the minds and creativity of those stuck in it. And all from the humble streets of the Kootenays and the wildly creative minds of a couple of Sherpas.

JP Auclair, Photo: Dave Mossop

We are looking forward to seeing the Sherpas Cinema back at iF3 in 2013 when then they finish the two year film project that they are currently working on.

Join JP Auclair tonight at the Alpine Initiatives iF3 Launch Party with DJ A-Rock, DJ Blaster, and DJ Johnlee! Profits go to the Alpine Initiatives Foundation to fund their Ambalona School Lunch Program in Madagascar.

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