Go behind the scenes with ski patrollers

27th February 2019, by Abi Butcher

A new short film, Beyond the Pistes, documents the work of pisteurs in La Clusaz

A new short film, Beyond the Pistes, documents the work of pisteurs in La Clusaz

A short film has been launched offering a unique behind-the-scenes view of ski patrollers in La Clusaz, France.

The 12-minute film, called Beyond the Pistes, has been made by leading adventure photography and videography company GlobalShots.

The action-packed film includes aerial footage and point-of-view shots and focuses on the team’s bond, their drive and passion for a job often fraught with danger. Its release in London last Saturday (23 February), just days after a ski patroller died in an avalanche in Crans-Montana is all the more poignant. 

The film follows the La Clusaz ski patrol on their daily routine as they work to ensure safety on the mountain, including avalanche blasting, as they prepare the pistes for skiers in the morning.

Other shots show the men and women who work on the mountain day-in, day-out, transporting injured skiers off the slopes in emergency sledges. It also shows them enjoying one of the perks of the jobs — freeskiing — as well as dog handler Nicolas Coutelle training his three-year-old Belgian Shepherd, Loustic, in search-and-rescue for avalanche victims.

The La Clusaz ski patrol is made up of 40 team members, who range in age from 21 to 64, and work in four smaller “crews” to cover the four ski areas in the resort, which has 77 miles of slopes.

Beyond the Pistes was produced, directed, filmed and edited by GlobalShots team Bethany Mercer and Jay Haysey in January 2019.

Jay Haysey said of the film: “I was in my element chasing the ski patrol down the mountain with the camera. The hardest part was keeping up while loaded with camera bags full of kit – they were all such great skiers! My favourite filming moment was when the team let us stay up at the summit at 2600 metres when the pistes had been closed. We had the mountain all to ourselves – I won’t forget that moment.”

To watch Beyond the Pistes, click here.

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