Mark Obenhaus' thrilling documentary transports you to the vertical world of extreme big-mountain skiing. Steep celebrates this intense way of life, from the trailblazing pioneers, whose goal was to ski where no one had ever skied before, to the new generation of daredevils attempting the seemingly impossible by combining BASE-jumping with parachutes against the gravitational pull of the steepest descents. With stunning original and archival photography that embraces the high-velocity grace, sheer exuberance and mortal danger of this extreme sport, Steep offers a unique glimpse into a rush that only a select few have experienced. But in doing so, Obenhaus goes deep into the characters of the people who risk everything to try that uncharted line. From the sport's initial origins on the Grand Teton in Wyoming and Chamonix in the French Alps to the peaks of Iceland, British Columbia, Patagonia and the Chugach Mountain Range in Alaska, in this avalanche-prone terrain with no lifts nor ski patrols, the slightest mistake can spell instant disaster. The men and women who fly down these mountains do so to fulfill a calling. To them, skiing uncharted terrain is a more than a sport; it is a quest that must be fulfilled. The beauty of Steep goes beyond its awesome visual sequences as it tells a very human story of the many who have risked all-as well as the several whose lives were cut short-in this quest to take skiing away from the trails and resorts and back into the rugged and untamed natural world of the mountains.
MARK OBENHAUS is a producer, director and writer of documentary television and film. In recent years, he has worked in association with ABC News and Peter Jennings as Executive Producer, writer and director of Dangerous World: The Kennedy Years, based in part on the reporting of Seymour Hersh; The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy, a two-hour coproduction between ABC and the BBC and UFOs: Seeing Is Believing, a two-hour primetime special. Prior to working with ABC, Mr. Obenhaus made documentaries for public television, including films for Frontline, Great Performances and The American Experience. Obenhaus' work has been recognized by five national Emmys, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, two Robert Kennedy Journalism Awards, the Gabriel Award, the Ohio State Award, the Writers Guild of America Award, four American Film Festival Awards and numerous other honors.