As the last ski season got off to a slow start, Tyler Ceccanti started to envy some of his fellow pro skiers.
While the Lake Tapps resident was scrounging for solid runs December and January, his friends were posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram of epic powder days in Japan.
“It was like nothing I’ve seen before,” said Ceccanti, who honed his skills on Crystal Mountain. “I’d wanted to go for so many years.”
Just when he couldn’t take it any more, he got an email from Warren Miller Entertainment inviting him to go to Japan for two weeks of skiing.
“They gave me a week to get ready,” he said. “But I was going no matter what. I’d drop everything for that opportunity.”
Ceccanti’s work appears in the second segment of “Flow State,” this year’s annual Warren Miller Entertainment offering. The segment is highlighted with footage of Ceccanti ripping through the trees and powder in Niseko, Japan.
Now, Ceccanti is busy promoting the film and plans to appear at the Tacoma and Olympia screenings of the movie to sign autographs and talk skiing. He’s already getting runs in this season on Mount Rainier, but he recently slowed down long enough to answer five questions:
The tree skiing footage in the movie is pretty sweet. What’s the trick good tree skiing?
You need to be quick and looking ahead all the time. ... I plan a path and then it’s like a race course. You just have to be careful not to clip a tree because it will lay you out. Luckily, I’ve never done that.
Is there anything in the Northwest similar to the skiing in Japan?
Not really because the trees are so different there. Mount Baker might be the closest thing or maybe Left Angle Trees at Crystal. In Japan it’s just pillows and trees. ... There’s not really anything that will blow your mind like in Alaska where you can get on some crazy spines. It’s big and mellow and the trees hold more snow than you’ll ever see in your life.
What was it like visiting Japan a year after the tsunami?
We were up north pretty far away from the damage. I talked to some people about it and it seems like when something like that happens in Japan it affects everybody.
It’s been a few years since Warren Miller Entertainment has filmed in Washington. I know you’re partial to Crystal, but where else should they go the next time they shoot here?
I’d say North Cascades Heli just because most people don’t associate Washington with heliskiing. But that place is rad, really amazing.
So this is your third Warren Miller movie, do you have an assignment yet for next season?
Not yet. It will really depend on the weather. But I hope so. I’m just waiting for the call. For right now I’m excited about working on a personal project, “Snow Chasers.” We started it last year and shoot here in the Northwest. We plan to post it online for people to watch for free. You can find it online on YouTube and my website (tyler-ceccanti.com).
Warren Miller’s ‘Flow State’
Olympia: 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Friday, Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets available at Alpine Experience and olytix.org.
Tacoma: 6 and 9 p.m. Saturday, Pantages Theater. Tickets available at Sturtevant’s Ski Mart or broadwaycenter.org.
Bremerton: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, Admiral Theatre. Tickets available at Sturtevant’s Ski Mart and admiraltheatre.org.
Auburn: 7 p.m. Nov. 18, Auburn Performing Art Center. Tickets available at Sturtevant’s Ski Mart and ticketfly.com.
Swag: Tickets include a free midweek lift ticket to White Pass and 2-for-1 lift tickets to Whistler Blackcomb, Big White, Silver Star and Sun Peaks.
More info: Go to warrenmiller.com.Craig Hill: 253-597-8497