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Travis Rice Gets You Amped For Northern Hemisphere Snow

Published September 20th, 2016

On this side of the world we have started punishing the fake tan in preparation for summer, but the Northern Hemisphere has started looking gleefully ahead to another snow season.

Every ski bum worth their salt has seen The Art of Flight, the 2011 blockbuster that followed Travis Rice and his cronies as they shredded the most terrifying and inspirational peaks in the world.

This weekend welcomed the Australian premier of The Fourth Phase (available on DVD Oct 2), another offering from Rice and co-conspirator Red Bull. It’s a film that is sure to spark a hunger for winter that will have snowboarders frothing at the mouth at the thought of strapping in for their first run of the season.


Two snowboarders standing on top of a mountain.
Eric Jackson seen during the making of the movie, March 22 2015. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool/Tim Zimmerman

Water = snow

The Fourth Phase refers to the cycle of water and, in this case, its transformation into snow. Like all groundbreakers, Travis Rice has an obsession for his art that has led him to zero in on hydrology – the study of the properties of earth’s water, and its movement in relation to land.

Luckily Trav’s got a helicopter and a luxury catamaran on hand to follow the water from the peaks of Wyoming, across the Pacific Ocean to Japan, up to Russia for a cheeky ride down a volcano, and then back over to the catcher’s mitt of Alaska.


Snowboarder Travis Rice stands open armed atop a snow covered mountain.
Travis Rice stands on top of the world in The Fourth Phase, March 17 2014. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool/Scott Serfas.


Beware though, all of the #snowporn imagery among the birch trees of Japan, huge aerial spins launched off kickers built in the Wyoming backcountry, and Go-Pro footage of dropping in from peaks in Alaska will make you want to pack your board and head off in search of your own patch of unclaimed snow.

Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to see Rice carving it up on screen but why not try hitting the slopes of Japan yourself? Snowboarding in Japan is surprisingly cheap with prices of lift passes, accommodation and food better than other snow holiday destinations. Check out some of these killer Japan snow holiday packages!


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Videographer Greg Wheeler captures snowboarders Travis Rice, Mark Landvik and Eric Jackson on top of a snowy mountain in Russia, 2014. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool/Scott Serfas.
Greg Wheeler captures Travis Rice, Mark Landvik and Eric Jackson in Russia, 2014. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool/Scott Serfas.

Getting Real with T-Rice

All snowboarders have to suffer through sub-par conditions and not even Travis Rice can control the weather. It’s nice to see that the film-makers acknowledged a four-week wait for a good window of weather while in Russia, and the poor snow conditions that stopped Rice and his merry men from shredding ‘So Far Gone’, an unconquered mountain face in Alaska.

Of course, they can afford to wait for the snow, and the film quickly returns to sweeping shots of riders charging down from dizzying heights and popping crazy tricks from dodgy looking cornices. Just when you’re thinking to yourself – “this guy is actually insane,”- avalanche and injury make their entrance, proving that T-Rice is human after all.

Those hoping for more pumping dubstep a la The Art of Flight may be disappointed with the soulful soundtrack, but overall The Fourth Phase is a gratifying tribute to snow obsession. It’s an obvious Travis Rice love-fest, but when he is knocking your socks off with mind boggling tricks among the world’s most scenic backcountry, you can’t help but love him yourself. 

If you want to have a go at the peaks of Wyoming, chase the pristine white snow of Europe or maybe just test the waters of snowboarding first, there’s so many different snow holidays to choose from. From Austria to Utah we’ve got your next snow holiday covered (in powdery soft snow of course).


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Emma Lee

Emma is a travel writer and blogger living in Brisbane, Australia. She followed the snow around the world for many years, and still considers Lake Louise her happy place. Emma's other passion is food; a love that has led her down many sketchy looking alleys in Asia, South America and Europe.