SBC Wakeboard – words & photos Abby Cooper
It’s not everyday that a group of friends rally to wakeboard and wakeskate across a glacial lake in the Whistler alpine. It’s also not every day that you get asked to film it. We caught up with filmers Kris Harris and Ryan Harris of Beacon Media Group to find out what it looked like to film this Gibbons Whistler project.
View the full video of “Canadian Beach Party”
SBC: How the heck did you think of this concept / what inspired you?
BMG: We saw a few Heli’s long lining rails up to the Blackcomb glacier and it got us thinking… What if we long lined a crate full of wakeboard gear and party supplies to a glacier lake? None of us are exceptionally great wakeboarders or skaters but we love it and are always looking to ride new unique locations.
SBC: Tell us about the logistics. Smooth Sailing or nightmare city?
BMG: Surprisingly smooth sailing! We jam packed the wooden crate Kris built with the winch, firewood, beer, and floaties and took it to the heli-port. Only one of our team members had been to Iceberg Lake before so we had no idea how thawed it would be which could have been a bummer. Turns out the lake was melted pretty much the perfect amount to wakeboard. When we got to the top there was a huge fog so we had to wait and hope it burned off so the heli could make the drop. Luckily the fog burned off, the heli got the crate to us and the sun came out to join our party.
SBC: What were you most nervous about for the shoot?
BMG: Operating a wakeboard winch at a high altitude can be unreliable. If the winch didn’t work the project would be a bust! We brought a big bag of tools to tweak it if we needed but it ran with no problems.
SBC: What was the sketchiest thing that happened?
BMG: Near the edge of the lake there was an ice shelf. If you were to fall under that shelf you’ll be stuck under a couple feet of ice. That scenario played out on one of rider’s second tow. He went for a 360 and went head first under the ice shelf. Our team got him out super quickly and he was completely fine but it definitely reminded us to pay attention to our surroundings.
SBC: What is was most unexpected, and did it make the video?
BMG: Ryan snapping his big toenail off right before our hike down. It was literally on the last shot of the day, it made the 3-hour hike down a little more interesting.
SBC: How cold was that water and did you get in it to film?
BMG: Freshly melted ice, it doesn’t get any colder than that. We went in a few times but not as much as the main crew that was wake boarding (Eric, Jay, Warren). Those guys fell in so much and just kept going all day. We also built a nice little fire to warm up and dry all of our gear. The fire and the bottle of fireball were key to keeping everyone warm.
SBC: What was the coolest part of this project?
BMG: The fact that everyone in our crew of 15 or so was so stoked to wake up at 6am and hike 3 hours up to this glacier, on a Wednesday. That is why we love Whistler, if your going on an adventure there is a huge community of people ready to go anytime.
SBC: Would you do it again?
BMG: 100%. This opened our eyes to the possibilities of long-lining adventures. You can bet we have some plans in the works right now.
These dudes not only know how to film, they know how to have a good time while doing it. We’re stoked to keep tabs on them and see what they get up next! To find out more about Beacon Media Group and other projects they have been a part of check out their vimeo page.