For this image, skier Herb Manning spent four hours in the Telluride, Colorado, backcountry awaiting perfect light. But the Mainer with redneck roots is anything but patient. Since his first day on skis, at age nine, Manning, now 31, has made a life out of feeding his insatiable skiing compulsion. In high school, he ditched ski racing for moguls competitions. "Races are won by hundredths of a second," he says. "If you ask me, that's a tie." At 16, he became Sunday River's youngest ski instructor. And in 1993, the summer after high school graduation, Manning drove his 1986 Toyota four-by-four to T-Ride in hopes of becoming a star.
He's since worked with some 200 shutterbugs and appeared in every major ski publication in North America. Still, Manning, who dreams of being a professional skier, has no plans to quit his day job as owner of Telluride Offroad Adventures, which runs backcountry jeep tours. And though he may not be famous, he's no wallflower, either. "There are people in Telluride who don't know what I do," he says. "But in 2002, I found myself in a small village in Austria, and some locals recognized me. I was floored." -Rachel Odell
THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR
WEIGHT: 150 lb.
HOME MOUNTAIN: Telluride, CO
SECOND OPINION: "Herb is very tenacious. You don't just go out and bag killer portfolio shots without working for them. He's all about good snow and steep lines." -Scott DW Smith, Skiing contributing photographer