British Columbia

From ski slopes to sustainability: film follows B.C. skiers' environmental journey

A group of veteran B.C. skiers have combined their love for adventure with concern about climate change in a new documentary.

'The Curve of Time' shows skiers Greg Hill and Chris Rubens as they make lifestyle changes

Greg Hill, in the foreground, and Chris Rubens, on a 10-day ski traverse in the Monashee Mountain range near Revelstoke during the filming of the documentary. (Chris Rubens )

A group of veteran B.C. skiers have combined their love for adventure with concern about climate change in a new documentary.

The Curve of Time, directed by Jordan Manley, looks at the toll outdoor adventure-seeking can take on the environment.

It follows the story of skiers Greg Hill and Chris Rubens as they try to become more sustainable athletes, while contemplating projections the ski season will be markedly shorter in the coming decades.

Jordan Manley, director of the documentary, says he hopes the film will encourage people to think about the impact outdoor adventure can have on the environment. (Bruno Long)

"The concept of time is really relevant, so that was something that stuck with me through the editing process," Manley told CBC Early Edition host Rick Cluff.

The film is framed as a time capsule, with Hill and Rubens speaking to their future selves in 2050.

Manley said the goal is to encourage the audience to consider how it will look back on environmental changes decades from now and inspire different choices. 

One of the key changes the skiers focused on, Greg Hill said, was choosing more sustainable transportation methods like bicycling, using electric cars and limiting international flights. (Bruno Long)

Individual changes

Hill said he first began to looking to change his lifestyle a couple of years ago.

"I started looking at what I do — my main thing is exploration and adventure in the mountains and enjoying nature," he said. "But the way I get to nature is terribly detrimental to the places I love."

Hill said he was concerned about the impact his activities were having on the environment and the fact he might be inspiring others to follow in his footsteps.

Greg Hill, pictured here with fellow skier Chris Rubens in the Monashee mountain range in B.C., says he has chosen to explore mountains closer to home rather than flying internationally to places like Norway. (Bruno Long)

Hill has since traded in his Ford truck for an electric car, put aside his snowmobile for this winter season, limited transatlantic flights and given up eating meat during weekdays.

Instead of flying to Norway to ski, he's chosen to remain in B.C. and explore the mountains closer to his home in Revelstoke.

"You want to start out with small steps and that's what I've been doing," Hill said. "It's quite easy to point fingers and think that we need policy changes and that the changes have to happen elsewhere but, really, we are a huge part of the problem."

The Curve of Time is part of the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival Nov. 9, a sold-out event. It will be available online early next year through Salomon TV.  

To hear more, click on the audio link below:

With files from The Early Edition