Patagonia have launched a new film documenting the resilient and passionate Cairngorm snow community in the Highlands of Scotland and their unmatched dedication to snowsports.
In Scotland, the word “thrawn” can mean “stubborn,” but it is stubborn for a good reason. The snow community in the Cairngorms take on a virtuous struggle to make the most of what’s available each season. Lesley McKenna, a local to the area and three-time Olympic snowboarder, was raised on this innate tenacity. She has spent her life pushing the boundaries of her sport and advocating for the people and place that shaped her. Her story, and that of her family is an example of what makes the community so special.
“Thrawn is the ability to make the most of whatever we’ve got. Up in the highlands we are connected to that energy,” says Lesley McKenna. “What brought me back to live here is that there is so much potential in the community and the passion that they have for making the most of whatever life throws at them.”
Like many other mountain areas across Europe, the Cairngorms are facing the impact of environmental and economical challenges first-hand to snowsports and the culture. But motivated to fight for what they have, the community are coming together to find ways to protect wintersports and the playgrounds for generations to come. “We’re going to have to roll up our sleeves and do it for our god-damn selves. Because nobody is coming to do it for us.” says Lauren MacCallum, Activist and Board Member of the Cairngorms National Park Authority. “We can have it all, if we just work together.”
The film shows the unique power of the snow community in its resilience and stubbornness to make the best of things, which is what “Thrawn” is about. Director Hannah Bailey explains “the Cairngorms breeds a special kind of folk who make do with what they have, and make use of every opportunity out there. In times of environmental and societal uncertainty, this community virtue of adaptability and resilience is more important than ever. This story is an example of that."
Thrawn is a film about resilient community, and the ability of snowsports to bring people together with purpose.