Did you end up skiing these “theoretical lines” in the film?
We went to the Cordillera Huayhuash thinking we’d get experimental in some areas. We were looking at the east side of Yerupajá and at Siula Grande, the peak from Joe Simpson’s book “Touching the Void.” Yeru is famous for Patrick Vallencant’s first ski descent of the west face in 1979. I wanted to ski a new line on the other side of the mountain, but I’m not in a place in my life to do that kind of soloing. I’m not into doing premeditated gnarly solo lines in glaciated zones right now.
I have a more refined notion of risk taking, especially during the process of filmmaking. I think that the unfortunate error so many mountaineers make is doing something for the wrong motives.
Then, what did you end up skiing for Solitaire?
The dream lines were there, but I ended up skiing lines that are better for filming. Everything ended up being alpine style—alpine style filming and alpine style skiing. I skied these incredible glaciers with broken ice with only one way up and one way down. We were really appreciative to be in these zones, amidst giant broken ice and watching lighting storms rage over the Amazon.
So, there are “dream lines” down there?
There are really advanced lines in Peru that I will dream of skiing. They’re there.
What accounts for the changes and evolution in your approach to risk taking and skiing?
Evolving as I get older, wanting to stay alive, and thinking of friends that we’ve lost… Marriage was the first step in the evolution and having a child was the second step. Wanting to do things the right way, be here, and share life with people added to the change.
Are these things you discussed with climbing and skiing partners?
Skiing doesn’t necessarily need to be talked about, it’s life that needs to be discussed. Skiing, in a certain way, is myopic. But, sharing it—through writing, making films, and with friends—is what I think it is all about. It is the rest of your life that colors your inspirations.
Want to know more about Ptor? Read Leslie Anthony's “Running From Babylon: Ptor Spricenieks, Ski Mountaineer”.