Adventure

SKI Focus 2018/2019

This season's most stoke-inspiring images from the pages of SKI Magazine in review.

Home Sweet Home

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Sometimes the best surprises are found right in your own backyard. Photographer Lee Cohen lives in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon and calls the slopes of Alta and Snowbird home. Which is why when he and his son, freeskier Sam Cohen, met up to take some turns in Grizzly Gulch, one of Cohen’s favorite sidecountry zones just outside the Alta boundary, he knew he could count on getting some worthwhile snaps. It didn’t hurt that 21 inches of snow had coated the north-facing slopes in the days before. What Cohen didn’t count on was capturing this gripping image. “It really pulls the viewer in,” he says, “from the wispy snow around his head to the crack forming in the snow in front of him.”

Nikon D5 body, Nikon 300mm f/2.8 lens @ f/6.3, 1/800sec, ISO 100

Color Blind

Treadway in BC
Photo credit: Ruben Krabbe

Late season in British Columbia’s Coast Range can be unpredictable—you never know what type of conditions you might encounter on any given day. So when pro skier Dave Treadway and photographer Reuben Krabbe headed into the backcountry around Pemberton, they kept their expectations in check. Toward the end of the outing, Treadway spotted some slightly wind-buffed snow sporting its telltale wavy pattern and knew the turns would be just right. Krabbe set up the shot and Treadway skied the line just as the sun was lowering in the late-afternoon sky, making this artful image look deceivingly like a black-and-white shot.

Nikon D850 body, Nikon 70-200mm f/4.0 lens @ f/5.6, 1/5000sec, ISO 200

Drama For Days

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According to photographer Jason Hummel, black and white imagery comes down to lines and curves, and in this striking shot of skier Jeff Rich, the curves prevail. Even though this image was captured early in the 2017–’18 season, Mount Shuksan, deep in the heart of Washington’s North Cascades, had just received a foot of light powder. Hummel credits the terrain, “convoluted with hummocks and steep rollovers,” as being “perfect for imagery.” The way the light hits the skier and the blower snow in the shadows creates a dramatic vibe that elegantly contrasts the simplicity of black and white photography. A moody masterpiece, indeed.

Nikon D810 body, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens @ f/10, 1/3200sec, ISO 125

Timing is Everything

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Being in the right place at the right time is a desirable trait for a ski photographer. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, images like this are the direct result. After watching the weather and light conditions for several days, photographer Bruno Long set out for Rogers Pass, B.C. with athletes Greg Hill, Leah Evans, and Hayden Robbins. “As we made our way back down to the valley bottom, the clouds were moving fast and my instincts screamed at me to get the camera out,” says Long. He snapped this moody masterpiece as his companions reached the col, just in time for Mother Nature’s ensuing light show.

Nikon D850 body, Nikon 70-200mm f/4 lens @ f/13, 1/640sec, ISO 400

Last Run

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First tracks at the end of the day are a rare treat in the ski universe. Engelberg, Switzerland is one of the few resorts where one just might find untracked snow at nearly 4 p.m. And that’s what happened early December when photographer Oskar Enander decided to grab some late-afternoon snaps of skier Linus Archibald as the early-winter sunshine started to wane over the slopes of his home hill. Bonus: “There are very few tourists around to fight for the fresh lines,” says Enander.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV body, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens @ f/7.1, 1/1000sec, ISO 200

Cold Smoke, Good Friends

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When you find yourself deep in the Canadian Rockies with a trio of phenomenal pro skiers and a whirlybird at your service, you make the most of it. That’s just what photographer Mattias Fredriksson did during a threeday stint with B.C.’s Mica Heli Skiing last winter. He was joined by athletes Mark Abma, Lynsey Dyer, and Angel Collinson during a few of the season’s most frigid days. “After several days of snowfall it was blower pow,” Fredriksson says. For this shot of Abma, “the clouds broke and created a very special light on this cold day,” he recalls. “We were a solid crew and had a great time.”

Nikon D4S body, Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens @ f/8, 1/800sec, ISO 320

A New Perspective

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Photographer Oskar Enander was shredding his home hill of Engelberg, Switzerland when he was inspired to add something new to his bag of tricks. “I saw an Instagram ad from this company selling the lens ball so I figured I’d try it out,” he says. But his new $50 toy proved a bit more complicated than advertised. How do you keep the ball at the proper height without getting your hand in the photo?, he wondered. After some trial and error, Enander created a “snow monopod,” clomping snow around his pole basket to hold the globe in place. This unique image of Johan Jonsson was the fruit of his labor.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II body, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens @ f/13, 1/1000sec, ISO 500

Best-Laid Plans

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The south-facing resort of La Rosière in the French Alps is known for its family-friendly terrain, but the same can’t be said of its surrounding peaks. On their first day, photographer Adam Clark and skier Sam Smoothy headed beyond the resort boundary into the expansive backcountry that butts up against the Italian border. “We were planning to go to a different location, but this wall of beautiful lines showed up after we hiked over a ridge,” says Clark. The two altered their plans and decided to explore this serendipitous new terrain, with Smoothy bootpacking up the line and sending it down the ridge. “This spot was protected from the wind and held some great powder,” says Clark. “It was a wonderful surprise.”

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II body, Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens @ f/9, 1/1250sec, ISO 200

The Sheridan Sessions

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What do you do when you’re on a Points North Heli trip in the Chugach Mountains of AK, and gusting winds keep you from flying? You turn nearby Sheridan Glacier into your own personal terrain park. “It was blowing 90 mph, so we decided to go out to the glacier, take out the spring skis, and session it like a skatepark,” says photographer Richard Hallman. Warren Miller Entertainment athlete Jim Ryan happily obliged. Hallman wedged himself into this crevasse to capture Ryan sending it over PNH guide Tino Villanueva ice-climbing below. “It was a difficult shot for [WME cinematographer] Tom Day to get, even in slow motion, because Jim’s only in view for a few seconds,” says Hallman. “I hope it makes it into the film.” So do we. Warren Miller Entertainment’s 69th film, Face of Winter, is coming soon to a theater near you.

Canon EOS-1D X body, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens @ f/8, 1/500sec, ISO 250