Guilt Trip goes far beyond the bounds of traditional ski films. It is not an hour-long highlight reel of high-flying superkicker jumps set to an epic soundtrack. It is a film about something much grander, and of dire importance to the sport: climate change. The film, directed and produced by Anthony Bonello and Mike Douglas, follows professional skiers Chris Rubens, Kalen Thorien, Simon Thomson and Pierre Muller, along with the renowned UK glaciologist Alun Hubbard, as they travel to Mt. Forel, Greenland’s second highest peak. Their mission: to collect scientific data from the ice sheet, and to make the first-ever ski descent of Forel.
Greenland, a continent commonly regarded as the canary in the coal mine of worldwide environmental disaster, is portrayed in the film as a frightening example of why skiing — and, by default, the health of the whole planet — must change, if it is to survive. It is also a film about battling inner demons — about professional skiers coming to grips with the fact that their globetrotting lifestyle is contributing to the death of their livelihood. If you’re looking for full-on stoke ski footage, Guilt Trip likely won’t deliver. But if the purity of wild places is something near and dear to your heart, it just might be one of the best ski films of the year.