Interview: Noah Howell and Elevation Backcountry Trailer

Posted By: The Ski Channel on September 4, 2013 12:48 pm

Powderwhore Productions is at it again with its 9th film, ELEVATION. With an emphasis on the purity of backcountry skiing and split-boarding, athletes around the states go back to the true roots of adventure and passion of the snow.

 With a cast of 14 athletes -including Bob Athey, Charlie Cannon, Noah Howell, Paul Kimbrough, Ian Provo, William Cardamone, Jason Dorias, Neil Provo, Andy Dorias, Andrew McLean, Jake Sakson and Michele Manning- each individual shares his or her own story and shows the viewer the absolute thrill and life addiction of adrenaline on untamed territories of the mountain peaks.

The Ski Channel was able to get the inside scoop from freeskier Noah Howell of what it was like during the creation of Elevation. As a filmmaker, editor, producer, climber and most importantly, skier, Howell has integrated himself in the mountains in all aspects.

Noah Howell, along with the other featured skiers and riders of Powderwhore Productions, will take the Elevation film on tour to 12 states and over 40 cities including California, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Vermont, Montana, Washington and even Montreal.

Check out the sneak peek trailer of outdoor exploration at its finest. Pre-order now to receive the DVD after shipment on October 1st.

*Interview by The Ski Channel/ Katie Magana* 


The Ski Channel: What is most unique about Elevation?

Noah Howell: Elevation is really like a backcountry film festival. It’s unique from our past films in that we’ve really covered a broad range of human powered winter adventures. From backyards, to remote Alaska we tagged along with motivated individuals making tracks on different objectives.



Ian Provo makes it look easy on the beastly Tordrillo Mountains| Photo: Noah Howell


How long did it take to film?

We operate on a seasonal basis and try to release a film every fall, so we shoot through the winter and into spring. It usually means we have a 6 month window for shooting.


Any scary moments or challenges?

Filming in the winter is a huge challenge! There are so many elements working against the camera and the crew. We are faced with cold temps, short days, blowing snow (gets on the lens), avalanches, etc. Every year it’s a constant search for good snow and the right people that have enough respect and understanding of the mountains, but can also ride hard when conditions permit. Luckily we chose wisely this year and didn’t have any close calls and we are very proud of that!


A sight worth seeing with Neil Provo | Photo: Noah Howell


Most exciting/fun aspect of filming Elevation?

Last winter wasn’t a great year in the Wasatch where we are based. This meant we needed to travel, which is always a good time. Getting out into new areas with new people is hard to beat and we got to do plenty of that this year.


Neil Provo prepares for a line at Tordrillo Mountains | Photo: Noah Howell


Favorite location?

Sometimes you just get really fortunate like we did in the Tordrillo Mountains of Alaska. We flew in to an unknown area and got dropped off pretty much blind to what the terrain was like. It snowed 20-30 inches over the next 24 hours and then went cold and stayed bluebird for the next 8 days!! Unheard of really, no wind, no instabilities in the snow and the terrain was everything you could ask for right outside the tent! The Provo Brothers, Neil and Ian went to work and destroyed everything in site. This was the greatest location and conditions for filming I’ve ever seen and the segment speaks for itself.


How do the featured riders and skiers train for backcountry?

All of the people in our film are very active year round. Mountain biking and hiking/trail running translate well to backcountry skiing, but the best way to train is by doing the activity. We all get out early in the season and get a good base of fitness going as soon as we can. This carries us into the later part of the season when snowpacks are deep and most of the filming takes place.


Noah trails through the peaceful woods | Photo: Jonah Howell


Why should people watch Elevation?

I have no idea what other people should or shouldn’t be doing, that’s for them to decide. There are a hundred better ways to spend your time than watching our film. Go follow your path into the mountains and you’ll be more rewarded. We tried to document what we love to do and that’s play in the snow. Our hope is that others will come and find this inspiring and motivating for their own adventures.

Noah Howell in Mineral Fork Wasatch UT

Noah Howell experiences powder for days in Mineral Fork Wasatch, UT | Photo: Jonah Howell


Who or what personally inspires you to ski?

With so many rules, confines and restrictions in the world I find great joy and freedom in heading off into a world where every move I make is mine and there are very few external boundaries to bump up against. This is what draws me to the mountains. And the people who have inspired me are those who have moved beyond what was thought to be known, or possible and created their own paths. Too many of them to list really.

Main message?

The mountains are just a mirror for our inner reality, explore it! Be brave, laugh often and chase down your fears and your dreams.