Asit Rathod knows Mount Hood.
Sammy Carlson's opening-night screening of his first feature-length film The Sammy C Project drew a rowdy crowd of about 1,000 fans at the Roseland Theater in downtown Portland Friday night.
Carlson was in high spirits signing autographs and throwing gifts into the crowd from a well-worn stage that's been occupied by some musical greats over the years. Also in attendance were his Mount Hood shred partner Tim Humphreys, big mountain master Ian Macintosh and skiing superstar Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, along with all sorts of characters from Mount Hood's lively ski and snowboard scene.
It was a big night for Sammy C, who grew up in the nearby working-class suburb of Tigard and started skiing Mount Hood at the age of 4. "It's super special to have this here in my home town," he told the crowd from the stage. "This whole dream started on Mount Hood."
The film also begins on Mount Hood, with childhood footage of a young Carlson ripping it down the mountain as a kid, and then trying all sorts of hilarious and ill-advised street-skiing stunts with his friends as a teenager. The film tracks his fast rise in freeskiing to the podium (he's nabbed 8 X-Games medals in his career) — and the big-air crash that tore up his knee and nearly ended his career.
Next comes his hard-earned recovery, and his shift out of the park and into the backcountry, building huge jumps with friends on Hood and in BC, climbing to the top of a terrifying 120-meter ski jump in Michigan and taking it switch, slicing through powder in Alaska, and finally flying off into the sunset on Mount Hood with one stylish jump over Illumination Saddle after another.
Teton Gravity Research and Atomic Skis backed Sammy on his debut project, and this packed-house opening should guarantee a long career of more films, provided he can keep the keep his knees healthy and keep on shredding it.
Check out Sammy's website for more info about upcoming shows, and how to purchase the film for home viewing.
Big congratulations to Sammy Carlson for a massively successful debut in Portland. And big thanks to Zeb Yaklich and Off the Wall Media for promotion, venue selection, and a super-fun party-bus trip to the show.