Why did we go to Dubai?
The A Skier’s Journey series hasn’t necessarily been about promoting each location, though we’ve fallen in love with a few of the locations along the way. It has been a survey of the global landscape of skiing as it exists, in it’s many forms.
The world of skiing is filled with not only extremes but contradictions. The not-so-great ecological story of Dubai is well known & documented. At the same time and in spite of this, in the midst of this, there seemed to be a real skiing community here. This contradiction, the fact that both of these things might be true made us uncomfortable. Can something be real and good, even if it is predicated on so much that is not?
It was fascinating to meet someone who had never skied outdoors, who’s entire ski experience was produced by an impressively engineered and incredibly energy intensive facility. And that, at the end of the day, it harnessed just enough gravity, made just enough snow, to maybe just look like, and maybe just feel like skiing. As someone who’s idea of skiing is so closely related to the idea of being outside in the mountains, I found it fascinating to meet someone that shared a passion for skiing, yet had so many of the elements that I cherish stripped away from it. In some ways, what we found was modest, raw skiing.
Ultimately this episode was made to explore a different kind of skiing, and hopefully it would lead to the question, “what is skiing?” Why do we love it? What are the elements (community? the physical motion of it? your environment?) that make it special and real to each of us?
Dubai lies at the extreme edge of what might be considered a ski location and/or culture. Probing at the margins of skiing, where the elements of modern downhill skiing become stripped away, we felt was the best place to ask these questions.
Jordan Manley & Daniel Irvine (directors)