Thrawn | A Scottish snow film

snowboarder at the top of a mountain, looking out over the brown-green valley in Scotland

In the Scottish Highlands, the word “thrawn” means “stubborn for a good reason”—a virtuous struggle to make the most of what’s available.

Pro snowboarder Lesley McKenna was raised on this tenacity, and 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 the three-time Olympian and Aviemore local.

This is the focus of Patagonia-produced Thrawn – a film about resilient community, and the ability of snowsports to bring people together with purpose.


– stubborn, the virtuous struggle to make the most of what’s available

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.”

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.”

Poster for Patagonia film Thrawn, features a picture of a snowboarder looking out over the scottish valley below