I started snowboarding at thirteen, on a church ski trip. When I came back, all toasty and exhilarated, I tried to share my joyous discovery with my family. There was a great silence. "Filipinos don't like getting cold," my little brother said. And that was the end of the discussion.
In my own (admittedly limited) experience, minorities on the slopes are still a bit of a rarity. The belief persists that mountain snow sports remain the province of the blonde and blue-eyed Nordic types, preferably with a heavy Germanic accent and a taste for expensive lagers. Nils Larsen's documentary, Skiing in the Shadow of Genghis Khan: Timeless Skiers of the Altai
, might do a great big to change that perception. He ventures into the Altai mountains of northwest China and discovers Chinese skiers who have been building and using skis for thousands of years.
Portland's Snowrider Project
will be presenting a showing of Larsen's documentary at 7 pm Wednesday, March 4, at the Solstice Outdoor headquarters (2415 N. Ross Ave)
. Your $10 ticket ($5 if you're under 16 or a student) includes Extracto coffee and a limited-edition Voodoo Doughnut, as well as a Q & A session with the director himself. All proceeds go to the Snowrider Project, to educate people about mountain watersheds and water quality.
For the celebrity hounds out there, there's a rumor that Warren Miller was seen filming in the Altai this year. So if you're a fan of the massive yearly snow film, here's a chance to see more than the thirty seconds of it that Miller probably captured.