Snow at First Sight

Just Fell for It

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Snow at First Sight: The Bond Ski 6

Most people would freely suggest that James Bond films are synonymous with ski scenes, but you may be surprised to learn that of twenty-four films, only six actually contain any skiing. This may have something to do with the relatively short season for shooting, or the massive amount of disruption that a huge film crew probably cause to an alpine village. Nevertheless, for the film connoisseur when James appears on the big screen dressed to kill in his onesie, it can’t help but put a smile on your face.

We reveal the six classic Bond films with a notable ski scene…


On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

(filmed in Murren, Switzerland)

Showcasing retro skis and skiing techniques, this scene involves Bond being chased by an army of gunmen. Having attempted to trick the evil Blofeld into leaving Switzerland in order to gain his arrest, and failing, he attempts to escape his henchman by skiing down Piz Gloria. Halfway down James loses a ski, where he then reveals his skills as a monoskier.


The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

(filmed in St.Moritz, Switzerland)

Arguably the most memorable opening sequence of any Bond film, sees James skiing down a magnificent stretch of off-piste. Needless to say it doesn’t take long for his Soviet attackers to follow suit. More of a classic ski chase scene, this showcases his full range of talents as he hits the freestyle with a reverse backflip. Eventually killing off one and escaping the rest of his pursuers Bond skis off the cliff edge revealing his famous Union Jack parachute.


For Your Eyes Only (1981)

(filmed in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy)

With Bond hitting a ski jump hill, gunmen on motorbikes and a bobsleigh track this scene has it all. Having ventured to Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Italian Dolomites to seek out Greek businessman Aristotle Kristatos, James attracts the attention of his niece Bibi, who pulls out the all the stops in seducing him. Spending time together on the slopes Bond encounters Kristatos and his men including biathlete Eric Kriegler, who seems to have super-human strength. They chase him for several minutes down the slopes, but needless to say James is always one step ahead.


A View To A Kill (1985)

(filmed in Iceland & the Swiss Alps)

In this film Bond exposes his multi-snowsports talent as he takes to the slopes first on regular skis and then on a homemade snowboard (a broken piece from a skidoo). Whilst tracking and recovering a microchip in Siberia he is chased by Soviet troops on skis and in a helicopter. Surfing the pow with ease James escapes capture and eventually takes out the helicopter with a flare in true JB style.


The World Is Not Enough (1999)

(filmed in Chamonix, France)

Travelling to Azerbaijan, Bond meets with Elektra King at the construction site for one of her oil pipelines. Whilst surveying the site from the top of a nearby mountain they are ambushed by Renard’s henchman on parahawks (a kind of skidoo with parachute attached), and a ski chase ensues. Bond strategically leads them into the trees where they inevitably meet their fate.


Spectre (2015)

(filmed in Solden, Austria)

The latest edition, ‘Spectre,’ was filmed from late 2014 and well into early 2015. Some of the shooting took place in and around the creatively designed Ice Q restaurant, with all-glass walls offering fantastic views from over 3000m. If you’re bound for Solden on a ski trip any time soon, then make sure you have your camera at the ready.

My Favorite Snow Activities

Snow isn’t just for watching. In fact, the powdery stuff’s temporality lends to an amazing slew of seasonal sports and activities. While I look forward to that first snowfall every winter, I equally anticipate the ability to walk, ski, or sled over the blanketed landscape. I mentioned that building a snowman is one of my favorite memories, but I’ve had an equally fun time participating in a range of activities which harness the power of snow. Read on, why don’t you.

Cross-Country Skiing—Nordic skiing is my favorite snow-related pastime. It combines the grace and solitude of gliding through a snow-covered landscape with the excitement and speed of a high-intensity sport. I prefer the Classic ski style, as it’s a more tranquil way to move through the snowy space. I started when I was very young—5 or 6, I think—and fell in love immediately. Though still a pricey sport, XC skis are far less expensive than their downhill counterparts, making this a pretty accessible activity. Plus, you can always rent.

Snowshoeing—I know what you’re going to say: Seriously? The most boring thing on the planet? I’m here to tell you: snowshoeing is not boring! With the right conditions, the right mindset, and the right group of people (if you prefer to do it with friends), an afternoon of snowshoeing can make for an unforgettable day in the snow. My favorite part of this activity is that it forces you to take your time. You can only move so quickly on a pair of snow shoes, which means you really have to soak in your surroundings. Go rent a pair after work and you’ll see what I mean.

Ice Fishing—Okay, so this one isn’t technically snow-related. But it’s in the same season and requires the same conditions, so I’m going to throw it in. I’ve never been one to enjoy sedentary activities, but ice fishing really changed that for me. It’s about patience and persistence—skills everyone needs (especially for getting through the winter). This is an activity I like to do with friends; drill your hole, set up a few chairs, and spend time hanging out with people you love.

Alpine Skiing—I wanted to put as much distance between Nordic and alpine skiing as possible, but the truth is: I really love this sport. I mentioned earlier that alpine skiing is a remarkably expensive sport, but you can mitigate this problem by renting for a day, week, or season. I also managed to get a great deal on Copper lift passes. There really is nothing like spending the day flying down a double-black trail, or maybe navigating a gladed area with a small group of friends.