Teton Gravity Research’s ‘Legend Has It’

HEROES GET REMEMBERED, but legends never die. Yeah, it’s a line from The Sandlot, but it might as well be describing the spirit of the latest film from Teton Gravity Research, Legend Has It.

TGR’s 28th annual film is a nod to the ski legends that came before. It’s a look at the past and to the people and places that have inspired some of today’s best mountain athletes. It’s a blending of old and new, interspersing footage from the archives in with the new athletic feats that keep us filling out theater seats year after year. Some of the old clips come from the relatively recent past, early TGR footage of legends like Jeremy Nobis and Doug Coombs. Some date back much further, paying homage to the legends of the Tenth Mountain Division.

Watching Coombs’ gorgeous turns and famed pole plants is always humbling—the man may have been the best skier the world will ever see. But seeing that grainy late-1990s footage compared with the slow motion, high definition turns of skiers like Nick McNutt and Maggie Voisin shows just how far ski filmmaking has come.

Epic in scope, Legend Has It takes us from Jackson Hole, to Colorado, to Tahoe, from BC to AK, and Patagonia to Pakistan, and is surely an instant TGR classic. Newness is tough to come by in ski films; it seems that everything has been done, but after over two decades in the business, TGR continues to find exciting ways of looking at the mountains.

This film is proof that all drone shots are not the same, that while everybody can now capture the kinds of angles only possible out the door of a heli during the early days of TGR, creative and talented filmmakers can still surprise us. As someone who sometimes feels that everything that can be done in ski filmmaking has already been achieved, this is a heartening takeaway.

It’s no surprise that ski flicks always make us want to jump on a plane, or better yet, a heli, and ski the big stuff portrayed on screen. This film certainly did that, and it also offered a perspective on places I haven’t really seen on film, like the Karakoram Range of Pakistan. These slower, more introspective scenes were a welcome addition to the more standard ski movie fare of powder porn with Mike Wiegele’s in British Columbia.

Gorgeous, goosebump-inducing, HD landscapes portraying the immense beauty of nature populate the entire movie. But the skiing is what truly stands out. From Alex Armstrong ripping the deepest turns of her life in Jackson, to Tom Ritsch riding crazy British Columbian spines backed by his incredibly endearing voiceover and talking heads, to Christina Lustenberger’s thoughtful narration while having high adventure in one of the world’s wildest mountain ranges. Add to that a young Kai Jones bombing lines so tight they don’t even make sense as skiable, and you’ve got a full multi-course meal.

It’s easy to think that ski filmmaking has peaked, that every ski spot in the world has been filmed to no end, but Legend Has It proves that the future of ski movies is strong.

Like any great ski flick, the voiceover narration goes beyond just skiing, or even why we ski. It’s reverent not only to the legends of the past but also the face of the future. “The best stories are those yet to be written,” it says. Some of those stories will surely come from the skiers in this film, the legends in the making.

TGR’s Legend Has It is now available for digital download and streaming at the links below.


Apple TV

Amazon Prime


The Ski Journal Mailing List

We respect your time, and only send you the occasional update.