The Edge of Never

The Edge of Never
The Edge of NeverThe Edge of NeverThe Edge of NeverThe Edge of Never
Release date: 2009
Run time: 01:41:26

Tracklist / Soundtrack
Section: Artist - Title

  1. Michael Franti & Spearhead - Say Hey (I Love You)
  2. Michael Franti & Spearhead - The Future
  3. Michael Franti & Spearhead - One Step Closer
  4. Michael Franti & Spearhead - Hey World (Remote Control Version)
  5. Michael Franti & Spearhead - I Know I'm Not Alone
  6. Michael Franti & Spearhead - Hello Bonjour
  7. Michael Franti & Spearhead - Have A Little Faith
  8. Caracol - L'Amour Est Un Tricheur
  9. Aqua Velvets - Guitar Noir
  10. The Young Dubliners - Bodhran
  11. Christopher Jak - Hold On TIght
  12. Josh Rosenthal - Going Home

A documentary feature film set in the world of big mountain skiing, The Edge of Never is a real-life coming of age saga about the tribe of skiers who challenge the biggest, most dangerous mountains in the world. In 1996 extreme-skiing legend Trevor Petersen was killed in Chamonix, France. Nine years later, skiing icon Glen Plake decides it’s time for Trevor’s 15-year-old son, Kye, to ski the route that killed his father and join the tribe of big-mountain skiers. In this thrilling film, three generations of skiers mentor Kye as he attempts to finish his father’s final run. A ripping adventure tale of a young man coming of age, The Edge of Never is also a rich and subtle portrait of men and women who live big in the face of their greatest fears. Written and directed by William A. Kerig, produced by Peter Schweitzer, based on the book of the same title written by Kerig, The Edge of Never was shot on location in Chamonix, France.


Jared Hargrave,

Salt Lake City local and ski filmmaker, Bill Kerig, finally accomplished what he set out to do over five years ago: give the ski world a big, wonderful film that captures the essence of what it means to be a skier. With the completion of “The Edge of Never,” he gives us that film, even though, like all things in life, it isn't perfect.

“The Edge of Never” is the story about Kye Petersen. Kye is the son of extreme skier, Trevor Petersen, who died in 1996 while skiing the Exit Couloir on the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix, France. The idea was take Kye to that place, where the boy would ski the slope that took his father's life. There is a mythological plot at work here, about a young man who dares to ski the labyrinth of snow and ice that killed his father. “The Edge of Never” is also a story about family, despite that fact that it’s taking place amidst the carnival of big-mountain skiing.

The film has many elements as it's also about what Kerig calls “The Tribe,” the elite class of big-mountain skiers who come together and help Kye descend that fateful couloir. Included in that “tribe” are Glen Plake (who came up with the movie idea,) Eric Pehota, Mike Hattrup, and Kasha Rigby. The film shows how your friends are also your extended family, and how their support can be vital when skiing dangerous terrain.

There is also another layer to “The Edge of Never” which, unfortunately, gives it an unusual structure. This element surfaces when Kerig inserts himself into the story. Because of this, the narrative becomes a movie about Kerig making a movie about Kye Petersen. The beginning of the film feels like it was more about the filmmaker then it was about Kye, which is understandable since Kerig's successful book (also titled “The Edge of Never”) is mostly about his experience making the movie. But having those elements in the film version felt staged and tacked on. It also meant that Kye (and the whole point of the movie) didn't appear until the film was well underway. The first rule of journalism is “don't bury the lead,” and that rule was broken here in a big way.

Although, perhaps the staging and extended set-up was unavoidable, since it was Kerig and Plake who came up with the idea of bringing Kye to Chamonix in the first place, which presents another problem as it makes the whole movie a staged production in itself. If Kye had come up with the idea on his own and Kerig was simply there to document the trip, then the film could have been elevated a true documentary.

Despite its flaws, “The Edge of Never” is compelling and excels in small, intimate moments. When Plake and Kye are in their room talking on the night before the big descent, it feels like you're in the room with them, eavesdropping on a father figure giving sage advice to a boy about to risk his life. When legendary ski-mountaineer, Anselme Baud, stands atop a mountain and shows Kye the couloir where his son was killed in a serac collapse, the connection that is made between them is tangible. And as Kye pours his father's ashes into his hand and blows them to the mountain winds as a watchful eagle flies overhead, the scene is emotional and filled with weight. All these moments and more culminate into a film that transcends the typical ski movie.

The fact that Kerig made a ski film with a narrative structure which shows big-mountain skiers as real people, is reason enough to see this flick. It is refreshing to know that Kerig made the effort to move beyond the jet-fueled tomfoolery of ski porn to instead give us a coming-of-age-story that will appeal to everybody. “The Edge of Never” is that story, and at its core, it is a story about why we ski, which is a story that we all share.