Mountain landscapes, snow and mystical valleys. Winter sports enthusiasts, hikers, and nature lovers love this fantastic atmosphere in the mountains. Mountain backdrops are also very popular in Hollywood. Breathtaking stunts, legendary action scenes and romantic love scenes can be seen on the big screen in numerous films, and directors using ski resorts as filming locations have not been a rarity for a long time. SnowTrex knows the most famous flicks in wonderful winter scenery.
Filming location: Kitzbühel
The drama series Kitz comes from Netflix and is a 2021 production, with the first season storming the top 10 of the world’s largest streaming provider in just a few days. Kitz is a Young Adult mystery drama set in the posh ski resort of Kitzbühel. Here, local 19-year-old Lisi encounters the life of high society in the course of her job as a waitress, and not entirely without ulterior motives. The successful influencer Vanessa was the last person Lisi’s brother Joseph saw before he died in an accident. Vanessa’s life has taken its usual course since then, which makes Lisi sceptical. In her search for answers, Lisi plunges into a world of money, power and partying and discovers deep abysses.
In addition to the captivating story, the series impresses with breathtaking shots taken in the legendary ski resort of Kitzbühel. Here, skiers and snowboarders can expect varied slopes with a total length of 181 km and a total of 57 lifts. Further highlights are the varied Snowpark Kitzbühel and the steepest downhill slope in the world – the Streif.
Eddie The Eagle: Anything is Possible
This flick is a sports comedy drama based on the life of English ski jumper Michael Edwards aka Eddie the Eagle. In 1988, Edwards became the first Briton since 1929 to compete in ski jumping at the Winter Olympics. He was ridiculed by fellow athletes due to his shaky landings and numerous injuries. However, the ambitious bricklayer won the hearts of many fans when he jumped at the Olympics. This heart-warming film about someone who wanted to reach high all his life was shot in locations including Garmisch-Partenkirchen as well as Oberstdorf in the Allgäu region. For the ski jumping scenes in the ski jumping stadium in Oberstdorf, around 700 extras from Oberstdorf and the surrounding area were brought in to ensure that the shots were as realistic as possible. Taron Egerton plays the lead role in the multi-award-winning film, while the coach of the sympathetic Bronson Peary is embodied by Hugh Jackman.
Scenes from the snowy filming locations can also be seen in the film’s trailer:
“Downhill” is a US-Austrian feature film, which was released in 2020. It stars Lulia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell. The film drama is a remake of the Swedish film drama “Force Majeure”, which was directed by Ruben Östlund and premiered in 2014.
The official film trailer shows many of the scenes that were shot in the Alps:
The film is about a family who make it to the beautiful Austrian Alps for a skiing holiday. While taking a breather at the ski lodge, an avalanche is blown up, which turns into a dust avalanche, spins out of control and rolls towards the terrace where the family is staying. The father and husband reflexively grabs his mobile phone and gets to safety on his own. The wife and children are unharmed, but the horror runs deep. So does the disappointment at the reaction of the supposed head of the family. Emotions boil over and the Staunton family’s holiday turns out differently and far less harmoniously than planned.
US celebrities converged on several locations in the Austrian Tyrol for the filming of “Downhill”. The interior shots were all made in a 5-star hotel, which bears the name Schlosshotel Fiss and is located directly on the slopes of the varied ski area Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis (162 km). By the way, part of the crew stayed here during the 3-month filming.
The footage on the piste was shot in Ischgl’s Silvretta Arena ski area (239 km) and almost exclusively on piste 6 A. There is also a scene in the film where the family goes heliskiing. This is not actually possible in Tyrol, as winter sports enthusiasts familiar with the area know. Special permission was obtained for the filming so that the heli scenes could take place on the plateau of the Kaunertal Glacier Road – the so-called Fernergarten. And in front of a breathtaking backdrop, because the Gepatschferner can be seen in the background.
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Filming location: Lech am Arlberg
Chocolate, fats, and Hugh Grant – what comes to mind? That’s right, Bridget Jones! In the second part of Bridget Jones “On the Edge of Reason”, Renée Zellweger alias Bridget Jones takes to the boards that mean the world to skiers in Lech am Arlberg. The scenes were shot in January 2004 on the Schlegelkopf downhill run with a crew of over 150 people.
Although the ski scenes in the film only last a few minutes, almost every mistake a novice skier can make happens to Bridget. The scenes actually belong as a negative example in every ski instructional film and are a perfect preparation for the first winter holiday. After the Queen of Fettnäpfchen clumsily falls out of the lift, she accidentally races downhill on a slope in a pink outfit and causes a lot of chaos. It’s safe to say that this Hollywood classic features entertaining action of a different kind.
A scene from the film shows that the leading actress does not necessarily feel at home on the slopes in Lech:
James Bond classics
Filming locations: Various ski resorts in the Alps
There are a total of 25 James Bond films that enjoy great popularity worldwide and in which our debonair hero runs, flees, pursues, spies or flirts in pretty much every conceivable setting. The spectacular action scenes are second to none, and of course the one or other chase scene in the snow is not to be missed. The debonair heartthrob is, of course, an excellent skier and can be admired on skis in films such as “Spectre” (2015), “The World is Not Enough” (1999) and “James Bond on a Deadly Mission” (1981). Filming locations are winter sports regions such as Sölden, Chamonix, Weißensee and St. Anton. Here SnowTrex has listed James Bond films that promise winter sports action at its best.
Spectacular chases in front of breathtaking Alpine scenery are not uncommon in Bond films like “Spectre”:
xXx – Triple X
Filming location: Kaunertal
Austria is very popular as a filming location in Hollywood. Vin Diesel’s action film “xXx – Triple X” was also filmed here. The Kaunertal Glacier in Tyrol was the setting for the impressive scenes. Although Vin Diesel had never stood on a snowboard before, he shot many of the scenes himself. And anyone who has seen the film knows what that must have meant.
In the scene, Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) jumps out of a plane together with his snowboard. After arriving at the ground unharmed thanks to a parachute, he boards down powder slopes, drops metres-high cliffs and finally triggers an avalanche with explosives. Chased by the huge avalanche, the hero hurtles down the valley in spectacular fashion. Apart from the crazy stunts and impressive snowboarding skills, the scenes offer impressive images of the winter landscape on the Kaunertal Glacier.
The trailer of the film shows some short clips from the scenes shot in Austria:
Love on the slopes
Shooting locations: Vancouver, Whistler Blackcomb ski resort
“Love on the Slopes” is a 2018 American romantic comedy. The protagonist, Alex, is a travel magazine editor who is about to give up writing when her boss has an assignment for her. Alex is to test various extreme sports and report on them. For this purpose, the rather timid Alex travels to a ski resort in Colorado to start the self-experiment. Here she meets the sports photographer Cole, who accompanies her on her way out of her comfort zone and quickly casts a spell over her.
The filming for the film “Love on the Slopes” did not take place in Colorado, but in parts of North Vancouver as well as in the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in Canada. The latter is the largest ski resort in Canada and boasts 200 kilometres of slopes, 37 lifts and ski routes with a total length of 50 km. Highlights of the ski area include the legendary and world-famous powder runs as well as the snow parks in the ski area. In “Love on the Slopes”, the two protagonists Alex and Cole have fun almost exclusively at the Ridgeline Resort in Colorado. However, winter sports enthusiasts don’t need to do any research here. The Ridgeline Resort in Colorado does not exist and is a purely fictional place.
The British romantic comedy “Chalet Girl” tells the story of Kim Matthews (Felicity Jones), who escapes her dull life in England to work as a chalet girl for a wealthy family in the mountains. After initial teething problems in the world of the rich and beautiful, she discovers her love of snowboarding and also falls in love with the handsome Johnny (Ed Westwick). Many of the interior shots of the charmingly witty film were shot in a luxury chalet in St. Anton. While the piste shots were shot in the ski resort of St. Anton as well as in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the south of Germany. At times, 80 people worked on the set in the mountains, including professional snowboarder Tara Dakides, who provides spectacular scenes in the film with her freestyle skills.
Already in the trailer, it becomes clear how many parts of the film were shot directly in the snow:
Help is a British film by director Richard Lester and was released in 1965. The plot centres on the four band members of the Beatles. A total of seven songs, composed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, accompany some scenes in the film. After “Yeah Yeah Yeah” (1964), Help is the second film in which the Beatles play a leading role. The plot of the film is extremely curious, and so are the locations. Among other things, the four band members find themselves in Buckingham Palace and on the ski slopes in the Austrian Alps, in Obertauern to be precise. When the world stars also land in Maxglan/Salzburg on 13 March 1965 for the filming, they are greeted, in the familiar manner, by 5,000 screaming fans. In the film, the Beatles, dressed in black, sing their song “Winter Wonderland”. Incidentally, only John Lennon could ski, so the other three members were replaced by doubles.
In the trailer, scenes with the Beatles in the snow can be seen again and again:
The Winter Princess – A Love in the Snow
Filming location: Big White Ski Resort.
The film “The Winter Princess – A Love in the Snow” is a US Christmas romance and was produced by Hallmark Entertainment in 2019. As the name suggests, it is about a princess in a wintry setting. Princess Carly works at the Snowden Peaks ski resort, where she enjoys her incognito life away from the privileges of her aristocratic background. While planning a ball, the princess meets the brother of the owner of the ski resort. The two become close and Carly is overjoyed. Things get complicated when her brother Gustav shows up and threatens to expose Carly’s true identity.
In keeping with the title and the season, the film was of course shot exclusively in the snow, as the trailer suggests:
The filming for “The Winter Princess – A Love in the Snow” was mostly done at the Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The ski resort is one of the most snow-sure areas in Canada and is blessed with around 7.5 m of wonderfully dry powder (“Champagne Powder”) every year. Here, winter sports enthusiasts can expect more than 100 kilometres of top-prepared pistes as well as 16 fast, modern lifts that transport skiers and snowboarders comfortably and conveniently to the starting points of the runs. While beginners can make their first turns in the snow on the numerous rather flat sections, advanced and professional skiers can look forward to “The Cliff” near the Black Forest Express. “The Cliff” is a steep slope that becomes a challenge even for experienced winter sports enthusiasts.
Snow lovers looking for pure ski and snowboard films should take a look at SnowTrex’s 24 film tips for skiers and snowboarders.
FAQs on filming locations in well-known ski resorts
The successful Netflix series Kitz was filmed in the town of Kitzbühel as well as in the ski resort of the same name.
The filming of “Eddie The Eagle” took place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Oberstdorf in Allgäu, among other places. The film tells the story of Michael Edwards, aka Eddie the Eagle, who in 1988 became the first Briton since 1929 to compete in ski jumping at the Winter Olympics. As he was a bricklayer rather than a professional athlete and his technique left much to be desired, Eddie’s ambition won him the hearts of many winter sports fans.
Downhilll is a US remake of the Swedish family drama “Force Majeure” and was released in 2020. Most of the filming took place at various locations in Tyrol. While the interior shots were filmed in the Schlosshotel Fiss, which is located directly on the slopes of the varied ski area Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis (162 km). The piste shots were shot almost exclusively on piste 6 A in the Silvretta Arena ski area (239 km).
Renée Zellweger alias Bridget Jones takes to the slopes of the Arlberg ski area in the film “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason”. During the winter sports scenes, which only make up a few minutes of the film, Bridget Jones manages to make just about every mistake that a winter sports enthusiast should avoid. And she does it, as usual, in a hastily manor.
Ski resorts where the hero James Bond aka Agent 007 plagues downhill on boards include the winter sports regions of Sölden, Chamonix, Weißensee and St. Anton.
The winter sports scenes in Vin Diesel’s classic “xXx – Triple X” were filmed on the Kaunertal Glacier in the Austrian Tyrol.
The filming of “Love on the Slopes” was shot in parts of North Vancouver as well as in the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort in Canada. The latter boasts no less than 200 kilometres of slopes, making it the largest ski resort in Canada. The two protagonists in “Love on the Slopes” have fun exclusively at the “Ridgeline Resort” in Colorado, which, however, does not really exist and is a purely fictional place.
Many of the interior shots of the film “Powder Girl” were shot in a luxury chalet in St. Anton. The piste shots were captured in the ski resort of St. Anton in Austria, as well as Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Germany.
The ski scenes in the Beatles classic “Help!” were shot in the Austrian Alps, more precisely in Obertauern. On the piste, of course, it was ensured that the filming took place in peace and quiet. But when the pop stars landed in Salzburg for the shoot in March 1965, they were greeted, in the familiar manner, by around 5,000 screaming fans.
“The Winter Princess – A Love in the Snow” is a US Christmas romance, which was mainly filmed at the Big White Ski Resort. The film tells the story of Princess Carly, who works incognito at a ski resort and meets the handsome Jesse here. Big White Ski Resort is one of the snowiest ski resorts in Canada and is blessed with around 7.5 metres of new snow every year. Powder fans call this extremely dry powder “Champagene Powder”.