British Columbia

Skier flies through B.C. town, soaring off rooftops in film tribute

A video filmed in Nelson, B.C. as a tribute to the late JP Auclair, an extreme skier, is racking up hundreds of thousands of views online.

'It was very very cool the way it all came together,' says producer Mitchell Scott

Freeskier Tom Wallisch performs a stunt in Nelson, B.C., in March 2017. (Jake Dyson/Sherpas Cinema)

A breathtaking video featuring an extreme skier soaring over rooftops and bumping down staircases in Nelson, B.C., is racking up hundreds of thousands of views online.

The short film features a montage of daring ski stunts shown from the vantage point of a young boy riding in the back seat of a car, staring out the window, transfixed by the free skier.

The video was filmed as a tribute to Quebec extreme skier Jean-Philippe Auclair, who died in an avalanche in Chile in 2014. Auclair and a friend thought of the concept for the video, but he died before it was shot.

Honouring 'a creative'

He made a similar film in Trail, B.C., 2011, that showed him skiing along streets, walkways and over vehicles. 

Producer Mitchell Scott said the recent film was "a lot more complicated" to make than the original. It features free skier Tom Wallisch.

"It was about honouring who he was as a creative...the bar was set very high."

Scott said the video — which was shot in the Kootenay town last March over the course of 17 days — was produced with a six-figure budget through a sponsored partnership with The North Face, an athletic and outdoor clothing company.

"It's definitely taken off and the comments are really, really positive." 


Producers originally intended to shoot the video — which features up to 200 extras in some scenes — in Newfoundland, but bad weather forced the crew to change location at the last minute.

"The only real choice was the Kootenays and Nelson," said Scott.

"We had permits for everything — even the Ministry of Highways — within a week. We were shooting in Nelson within ten days [of changing locations].

Scott said the elaborate stunts, including one in which Wallisch flies off Nelson's snow-covered roof tops, made for a complicated shoot.

"We filmed that from a back of a truck with a really complicated camera rig...we only had like three takes for that whole piece."

"It was very very cool the way it all came together."


  • A previous version of this story said a similar film was shot in Nelson, B.C. That video was in fact filmed in both Rossland and Trail, B.C.
    Nov 04, 2017 1:18 PM PT