In honor of our favorite season, we sat down for a beer with budding ski legend and Patrol ambassador early this summer, Connery Lundin, to take a look at what its like living the pro skier life in Squaw Valley, California.
Connery has been dragging his new sled behind his old truck back and forth between Tahoe and Jackson Hole for the last few years; chasing snow and contracts as a professional skier. Age is a funny thing in a sport like skiing where newly minted “professionals” seemingly come of age younger and younger. Connery is no spring chicken at 27, but he has branded himself as the new kid on the block.
The 2016/2017 season was a break out year for the kid who landed a substantial role in Powder Magazines feature length film project, Monumental; a movie that celebrates the 100thanniversary of the United State’s national park system and follows winter camping expeditions into some of our nations wildest terrain. If you haven’t caught it, it’s a must watch. In the opening segment, along with Colter Hinchliffe, Lynsey Dyer, and several others, he hiked twenty miles into Teton National Park for 6 nights of winter camping and untouched lines. What’s not caught on film is the treachery of a trip like this. They dug out a literal tent village, equipped with a mess hall, kitchen, and enough tents to house skiers and crew. Night after night of frigid temperatures, howling wind, and days spent hunkered down because of inclement weather, yielded what amounted to a day and a half of sunshine that was worthy of filming. The results are breathtaking. Unlike most ski films, where skiers pick from dozens of hours of filming and countless lines to edit into a segment, you could tell these segments were earned. The lines featured in the film are one offs with athletes hiking into all of their runs. Viewers are rewarded with a thoughtful history of the parks and treated with burly lines, playful tree gaps, and a glimpse behind the lens.
Connery admits that success in his industry is fleeting and earned with an honest dose of luck and happenstance. His role in Monumental landed just days before the project’s start when Powder was looking for another athlete and Connery’s name popped up. His trump card and, “the best thing that’s ever happened to [him],” is his overall victory in the Subaru Freeride Series in 2015. As far as skiing goes, that’s not surprising to hear because it all but launched his career as a film pro. He wouldn’t say either way, if he’d ever go back to skiing competitively, but it sounds like he’s happier earning his checks skiing for film. Big mountain competitions are very intense, and a completely different style of skiing than he prefers. The chance for season ending injuries is very real and the travel to follow the tour is taxing and wildly expensive.
I doubt we’ll see him back in the starting gate, Connery is all about the Squallywood lifestyle. Who would blame him for parlaying his success after 5 hard years chasing competitions? When he’s not on the road filming in the heli, he’s back in Tahoe skiing good snow and enjoying imported babes from San Francisco. If you’d like to shake his hand, find him on a sunny afternoon (pretty much every day when its not dumping snow) at the famous Chamois at the base of Squaw Valley, literally steps from his winter home.
Look for Connery with a feature role in Matchstick’s epic new movie, Drop Everything. He calls it “classic ski porn” with friend and founder of MSP, Scott Gaffney getting back to Matchstick’s roots after an admitted dud with last years flick. He hints the movie will feature AK segments with Sammy Carlson and Michelle Parker, and unreal powder and jump segments filmed in his backyard thanks to Tahoe’s banner snow year. Visit Matchstick Productions website to find a premier event near you, follow Connery on instagram, and of course go buy yourself some pants!