Marcus Caston spends time ‘Chasing Shadows’ in new Warren Miller Film
The leaves are falling and winter is on its way. That means the new Warren Miller Entertainment film can’t be far behind.
On Friday, Oct. 16, Warren Miller Entertainment will kick off the national tour of "Chasing Shadows," its 66th film, at Salt Lake City’s Abravanel Hall.
The tour will wind through Orem and Ogden and land in Park City at the Eccles Center on Oct. 23 and 24.
The film follows athletes Rob Kingwill, Seth Wescott, Chris Anthony, Rachael Burks , Sho Kashima, Hannah Kearney, Jonny Moseley, K.C. Oakley, Dylan Walczyk, Caroline Gleich, Jeremy Jensen, Steven Nyman, Matt Philippi, Ian Provo, Neil Provo, Lexi duPont, Amie Engerbretson, McKenna Peterson, Øystein Aasheim, Marcus Caston, Kaylin Richardson, Espen Fadnes, J.T. Holmes, Ian McIntosh, Ingrid Backstrom, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Mark Abma, Rory Bushfield, Chris Benchetler, Pep Fujas and Eric Pollard as they cut lines in such places as Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Alaska, France, Nepal, Chile, Italy, Japan and Switzerland.
Caston, a Salt Lake native and former Super G and Downhill racer, appears in two segments — Alaska’s Chugach and Utah.
"We shot Alaska in the spring and that was cool," Caston said during an interview with The Park Record. "We flew into Cordova and we were in town for a day or two before they flew us out in helicopters."
The ‘we’ Caston talks about includes Norwegian skier Øystein Aasheim, Park City’s Kaylin Richardson, the film crew, and three guides from the Points North Heli Guides.
The experience blew his mind.
"I’ve skied in Alaska, but never in that area and that was my first time winter camping and I didn’t think I had many expectations going into the winter camp, but it was a lot tougher than I thought," Caston said. "We had to build camp and we were out there all alone for two weeks.
"The heater went out four days in and I thought we were going to die," he said. "Then I realized that people who go on real winter camps don’t have heaters."
That’s when Caston and his group started to focus on staying warm, eating, and skiing.
"Camp was about 3,000 feet above the valley floor, which was at sea level," he said. "We could see the ocean from the tops of the mountains we skied down.
"The mountains were huge, maybe 6,000 or 7,000 feet, and it was endless," Caston said. "Once we got to the top of one mountain, we saw others behind that one and others behind them."
That proved to be a challenge for the skiers.
"It’s a whole different scale, because when you look up and plan your line, you think to yourself that you will turn here, turn there and jump off that rock and turn here," Caston said. "But when you’re on top of the mountain, looking down, you realize your one turn may turn into 20 turns and that rock may be 100 feet high instead of 10 feet."
The experience was breathtaking.
"It’s extremely rewarding to just simply make it down, which is fantastic," Caston said with a laugh. "Plus, we were touring and doing this under our own power. I mean, we would come back to camp each night totally exhausted because we put everything we had into it and, at some points, risking our lives. It all came together."
Nothing will put your life in perspective like Alaska, according to Caston.
"It’s so huge and you are so small and at the mercy of your mountains that can do anything to you when they want," he said. "Weather comes in crazy quick and the mountains can fall on top of you. So, you realize quickly that it’s not all about you.
"Then, touring and working with one another without cell phones and Internet makes life simple," Caston said. "You realize you don’t need all of this other stuff. We were out there surviving and skiing for two weeks and life was amazing. So, why do you need all of this other stuff? Stuff doesn’t make you happy."
The Utah segment, which also featured fellow Salt Lakers Caroline Gleich and Jeremy Jensen, Parkites Neil and Ian Provo, and Sundance’s Steven Nyman, felt a little more comfortable for Caston because it was shot in the Alta backcountry just before Christmas last year.
"We got lucky," he said, laughing. "It had started snowing and we shot for the four best days of that winter.
"It was funny because filming here was kind of an everyday thing for us," he said. "I stayed at home and we woke up early and went to Alta and skied and came home. This wasn’t life changing, because it was basically what I do in my life."
Showing the world his hometown stomping grounds means a lot to Caston.
"There have been Utah segments in many Warren Miller movies and I’ve always been jealous of those scenes because I wasn’t in them," he said. "I’m proud of being from Utah. Utah’s not only home, but I don’t know if I ski powder because I’m from Utah or if I live in Utah because I love to ski powder.
"This is part of me," he said. "It’s who I am. Traveling is always fun and it’s a great way to see the world, have new experiences and meet new people. But I’m always so excited to come home."
Warren Miller Entertainment’s 66th film, "Chasing Shadows," will embark on a national tour starting Oct. 16 and 17 at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. The film will then screen Oct. 20 through Oct. 22 at the SCERA XanGo Grand Theatre in Orem.
The film will come to Park City’s Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd., on Oct. 23 and 24. The Oct. 23 screening will start at 8 p.m. and there will be two screenings on Oct. 24, at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
"Chasing Shadows" will then screen in Ogden from Oct. 27 to Oct. 29 and in Logan from Nov. 12 to Nov. 14. Park City tickets are $22 and can be purchased by visiting http://www.skinet.com/warrenmiller/events/ut .
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Park City High School sophomore Emily Bronstein founded the Seraphine Project that helps at-risk teens in Zimbabwe and Zambia.