Directors of Toughness Take Film Festival: Day 3

It’s day three, and the first weekend of the film festival is holding strong.

The film festival is a whopping ten days long, and somehow the crowd here manages to make it feel like a marathon and a sprint. On this day, we kept up with our celebrity ski lessons, pairing Olympic gold medal-winning skier Hannah Kearney with Teen Wolf actor Tyler Posey, Entourage star Adrian Grenier, Orange Is the New Black warden Alysia Reiner, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies actress Emma Greenwell.

SEE ALSO: Directors of Toughness Take on Film Festival: Day 4

Adrian Greiner and Hannah Kearney skiing and snowboarding at Sundance film festival

We made sure everyone was warm, dry, and protected before embarking on the 30-second walk to the town’s chairlift. From there, Zach and Hannah (I’m still sidelined with my blasted knee injury, more on that in a later post) took our guests up the mountain and played around in the fresh powder for a few hours before it was time for each of the stars to get back to their press junkets and premieres.

Alysia Reiner, our first skier of the day, came back into the hotel fresh off the slopes with the biggest smile her face was capable of holding. It was beautiful to see the thrill. Reiner grew up skiing with her father in the Berkshire and Taconic Mountains of and Massachusetts and New York. “I just had the best time!” she exclaimed when she got back from her runs with Hannah. “I cannot wait to go again. I forgot how much I love skiing.” It was an honor to help her remember.

Alysia Reiner and Hannah Kearney skiing at Sundance film festival

Tyler Posey came to shred next. A California native, Tyler doesn’t get to snowboard as much as he skateboards, but the minute he got into his gear and picked up his board, he was ready to go. The energy was all-time. He said he felt rad in his new jacket. He thanked everyone for arranging the lesson with legend and former Olympian, Hannah Kearney. I couldn’t believe how genuinely good the energy was. It felt like we were going out on a casual adventure with a few buds. By the time Tyler was done boarding, I wouldn’t have believed a smile could be so big had I not seen Alysia’s earlier in the day. It was exceptionally refreshing, and slightly surprising—especially for Zach.

Tyler Posey and Hannah Kearney at Sundance film festival

“I try to find different experiences on the mountain,” Zach said at the end of the day. “That’s hard to do because I spend so much time skiing. Usually I can find these new experiences on location or with snow conditions, but this time around everything was new and fun based on the people I was with on the mountain.”

And the energy didn’t let up. “It’s cool to go out with people who are stoked to be out,” Zach concluded. “These people don’t care about the snow conditions. They were just happy to get out and do something that they hardly ever get to do. They could get away from the hustle and bustle and try something new. The stoke level was so high and that’s what it’s about.”

Alysia Reiner and Renee Bargh at Sundance film festival

Follow Columbia Sportswear’s Directors of Toughness, Lauren Steele and Zach Doleac, as they journey around the world and put our latest gear through the harshest conditions on TwitterFacebookPeriscopeInstagram, and Snapchat (columbia1938).

Lauren Steele is a Midwestern farm girl turned migrant. She is a writer who knows that the unknowns in life make for the best stories—and for the most amazing adventures. Chasing those stories from Chile to Switzerland have prepared her to become Columbia Sportswear’s Director of Toughness. You can follow Lauren’s journey as Director of Toughness here and social channels including: Twitter | Instagram


ZachDoleacZach Doleac is an adventure travel and sports photographer (and full-time outdoor junkie) born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Traveling through places such as Central America, Canada, and the mountain ranges of the U.S., he only pauses long enough to make photographs of the people and places that he encounters along the way. You can follow Zach’s journey as Director of Toughness and social channels including: Instagram | Twitter