This award-winning documentary from T-bar Films follows Aaron Rice’s effort to ski 2.5 million human powered vertical feet in the backcountry in a calendar year.

“I guess I was always curious…what could somebody do?” says Rice of his mission. Looking for direction in his early twenties, Rice decided to pursue skiing; specifically, uncrowded, big-mountain, backcountry skiing.

Skier and mountaineer Greg Hill held the world record after skiing two million vertical feet in 2010, averaging 5,500 vertical feet a day. Rice went bigger, averaging 10,000 feet a day in his first month at it, January 2016. Through injury, overtraining, foul weather, and plenty of alone time, Rice made it happen, one day at a time. He spent his winter in the Wasatch, his summer in Argentina, and his fall and early winter between California and Utah.

The mission wasn’t so much about a record, as Rice explains. “It was about pushing myself as far as I could.” And the film isn’t compelling because of sheer athletic achievement; it’s compelling because it captures the power of a singular goal and the unique, driven, unassuming man behind it.

ADVERTISEMENT