[REVIEW] TGR’s New “Legend Has It” Ski and Snowboard Film

Martin Kuprianowicz |

Ski movies: a surefire way to get your mind thinking about snow and your heart ready for winter. After attending the Teton Gravity premier of Legend Has It at Salt Lake City’s Red Butte Gardens last night, I can say that I’m officially stoked and impatiently waiting for the winter ahead. The film sure did the trick.

The Salt Lake venue had a nice view of the mountains, which was appropriate for this film about mountain athletes sharing their talent and hard work with the world. It was packed with eager skiers and snowboarders from all walks of life, from baby strollers to gray-haired elders. Everyone was wanting in on the fun, which TGR provided well with the film.

Kai Jones – Jackson Hole, WY. | Nic Alegre Photo

The film featured an array of awe-inspiring locations including Patagonia, the California Sierra, Pakistan, and TGR’s backyard, Jackson Hole. Each segment was lengthy but not too much, with epic shots from the film’s athletes throwing down in the powder-filled backcountry. The cinematography and editing were on point, with creative shots and heartwarming transition scenes that you would not expect. Not to mention that the movie was filmed in some of the most captivating, jaw-dropping scenery this planet has to offer.

Ian McIntosh – Alaska. | Nic Alegre Photo

Having mostly been filmed over the course of the record-breaking Winter of 2022-’23, the movie was not short of deep powder skiing, face shots, and ridiculous storm cycles. It did a great job at showing how special last winter really was with all the insane snowfall, giving me a powerful sense that I was reliving some of last season’s best powder days. That’s what I like to feel when I watch a ski film.

The athlete list for the film is absolutely stacked with talent, including:

Kai Jones, Ian McIntosh, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Griffin Post, Nick McNutt, Tim Durtschi, Marcus Goguen, Jim Morrison, Christina Lustenberger, Colter Hinchliffe, Parkin Costain,Maggie Voisin, Jake Hopfinger, Jeremy Jones, Alex Armstrong, Simon Hillis, McRae Williams, WeiTien Ho, and more.

Alex Armstrong – British Columbia. | Jeremy Allen Photo

The elite team of athletes shown in the film pushed boundaries in some of the wildest terrain across the globe. I liked the Alaska, Pakistan, and Patagonia segments the most, and the more ‘local’ areas in the film like Jackson Hole and Colorado blew my mind because I realized that epic, feature-film-worthy terrain like that is totally within reach of a skier like myself. I spoke with McRae Williams, one of the film’s star athletes, about this past season filming with TGR.

“We tend to overlook the fact that some of the most incredible mountains and terrain available is right out our backdoor,” Williams said. “As with most things in life, it’s easy to get stuck searching too far and hard when what you’re actually looking for might be right in front of you.”

Eric Parker – Patagonia. | Janelle Yip Photo

Williams is shown in Legend Has It skiing with Colter Hinchliffe and Simon Hillis in the backcountry of Colorado. They ponied up and spent several days in a hut just above Aspen at 11,620’ shredding epic pillow lines, building booters, and immersing themselves in the historic mountains that were once training grounds for the legendary 10th mountain division. Williams told me that the hut, along with a series of other huts in the area, were used by soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division training to ski and navigate some of the most punishing and treacherous terrain in preparation for World War II. His segment showcases the top-tier level of skiing seen today in the wake of soldiers who once used these same planks of wood as tools to defeat the enemies of war. “Times sure have changed and yet the underlying means of transportation remains the same; skiing is a legendary sport in and of itself and I’m so grateful to share this incredible sport and lifestyle with so many amazing people in the most beautiful places on earth,” Williams said.

Colter Hinchliffe – Jackson Hole, WY. | Nic Alegre Photo

The film was a banger. The only critiques I had were that 1.) the segment with Jim Morrison in Pakistan didn’t mention much about his late partner, Hilaree Nelson, who died in a ski accident on 26,781 foot Manaslu in September 2022. Skiing and filming in the Himalaya only a handful of months after Nelson’s passing had to have been tremendously difficult on Morrison, and I would have liked to have heard more about his feelings there, giving a more intimate aspect to the movie. It’s possible that Morrison didn’t want to share much on the topic for the film and was focused only on skiing, but it would have been nice to have that personal human element in there.  2.) Same with Tim Durstchi, who talked on social media about how he was battling an auto-immune disease last season, which heavily affected his skiing. This would have been cool to hear about from Durtschi in the film because he absolutely crushed his segments and you would never be able to tell that he was fighting a battle with his health the entire time. By the way, his Patagonia segment was unreal—a must-see for sure.

Overall, this was one of the best ski films I’ve seen in years. I think my sentiment is shared with many of those in attendance at the SLC screening last night since people were hooting and hollering every time somebody did something really sick on skis or a board, which was most of the entire film. The movie ended with a brilliant segment with Kai Jones, which was absolutely insane and thrilling to watch. The kid really tied the film all together, showing that the future of skiing and snowboarding productions is still exceptionally bright.

Kai Jones – Jackson Hole, WY. | Nic Alegre Photo

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