Ups and Downs

Professional skier Drew Petersen opens up about navigating the mountains and valleys of trauma, mental health, and suicidal thoughts through the lens of ski touring.
Like our experiences in the mountains, life often carries us on an emotional journey of highs and lows.



Michael Brown, &, Drew Petersen


Drew Petersen



Running time

19 minutes

Country / Nationality

United States

Our Judges say:

A hard hitting insight into a professional skier's mental health.

Jimmy Hyland

Dramatic, beautifully made, emotionally raw story about a skier finally coming to terms with their mental health issues.

Paul Hodgson Music Judge

An emotionally raw telling of a life involving depression and extreme high performance sport. Extremely brave and candid that i'm sure will help others seek help to escape their darkness. Lovely background music.

Simon Taylor

Drew Petersen went through decades of life in fear of talking about his difficulties with mental health. Along the way he experienced extreme emotional highs and lows countless times; cycling between feelings of incredible strength and optimism, and those of bitter depression and hopelessness. It wasn't until a shocking rockfall accident nearly took his life that he was forced to reckon with the roots of his emotions; finally discovering the sources of his struggle and eventually working through them towards peace. 

Sustainability Notes 

This film was captured entirely via backcountry ski touring with small one person camera 'crews'. As a result, the film has very little carbon footprint other than driving a couple of trucks up Little Cottonwood Canyon and the electricity to power our edit computer for the post production.