Pressure Release: Olympic Snowboarder Savors Quiet Backcountry Pow

A craving for competition will only get you so far. You’ve got to have passion, intensity, and a love for the sport in its purest form.

“The pressure to achieve in any extreme sports industry is immense,” teases Teton Gravity Research. Elena Hight, a two-time Olympian, felt that pressure and wanted to experience her sport with fewer expectations. In “Blank Canvas,” she forges into the backcountry, charging in Japan and ripping in North America.

Hight can forget about her snowboard sponsors, the podium, the cameras — all that comes with the Olympics. She can focus on her breath, the light changing in the sky overhead, the early-morning wind skimming down the slopes. She can learn new things. No more ramps, no more lifts — grab a beacon, shovel, and probe, and you’re off.

The film is a step back from the pressure of competition, the constant effort of trying to improve and win. In Hight’s words, “Blank Canvas” showcases the value in taking a step back and falling in love with the sport again.

The full film will drop on November 23 on TGR TV.

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Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.

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