film still for Solving for Z Patagonia

Solving for Z is the latest film from Patagonia — about the multiple facets of risk told through a profile of Patagonia snow ambassador Zahan “Z” Billimoria, one of the most respected ski guides in North America.

After an accident on Mt. Moran that killed two partners, Z committed himself to exploring the gap between what is known and unknown in the mountains and the risks that reside in that space. How much can we gain from the mountains? How much can we lose? This 27:00 minute film explores our own perceptions and the reality of the hazards in the backcountry, in addition to how knowledge, skills and chance influence our fate. This is a personal film about our relationship with risk and finding both purpose and tragedy in the mountains. We had the chance to ski with Z and Exum Mountain guides in Jackson Hole a number of years ago, and were stoked to see this film come to life.

“With the heart of winter upon us, the message behind this film is timely. The pandemic has created a great deal of uncertainty around the operation of ski resorts and as a result, we are sure to see more people than ever entering the backcountry environment for the first time this season,” said Patagonia spokesperson Corey Simpson.

How much can we gain from the mountains? How much can we lose? Between our own perceptions and the reality of the hazards, how much space exists? And in that gap, how do we decide what we are willing to risk? Solving for Z explores IFMGA guide and father Zahan Billimoria’s relationship to the intoxicating highs and crushing blows of a life in the high-consequence environment of big mountain skiing.

Solving for Z is presented by Patagonia Films and filmed by Teton Gravity Research and premiered Thursday, December 10 at 5:00 PM PST. The film will also stream live on TGR TV starting on January 10, 2021.

Zahan Billimoria and Ben Hoiness climbing and skiing 6000m peak Illimani, via the regular route. Team still struggling with Altitude and stomach porblems. Cordillera Real, Bolivia
Zahan Billimoria and Ben Hoiness climbing and skiing 6000m peak Illimani, via the regular route. Cordillera Real, Bolivia

Patagonia hopes this film will heighten public awareness of risk and reward in the mountains.

Check out Patagonia’s new backcountry touring kits and packs here.