This year I teamed up with Reuben Krabbe for the Arc’teryx Deep Winter Photo Challenge.
This event sees 6 invited photographers and their chosen teams of athletes compete for a $5000 prize for best slideshow. Each team has three days at Whistler/Blackcomb in bounds to capture imagery and create a show that is judged on action, creativity, storyline/theme and overall impression.
While conditions were extremely difficult (we hadn’t seen fresh snowfall in a couple of weeks) we still had a blast cruising around the hill looking for good light, interesting features and patches of fresh snow. Our team consisted of Tatum Monod, James McSkimming, Rupert Davies, myself and photo assistant, Michael Overbeck.
When it was all said and done, our team took home the second place prize! However, the contest isn’t over yet. Please take a minute to swing by and vote for Reuben Krabbe for People’s Choice here:
Thanks for the vote!
Enjoy the show:
I recently linked up with Whistler local and professional photographer Mason Mashon to grab a few photo samples from our 3 days of shooting on hill at Whistler for the Arc’teryx Deep Winter Photo Challenge this past winter. We had a very talented crew of skiers and boarders and I’m pretty sure our laughs echoed through the valley as we dashed from locale to locale in search of good light and unique features. Huge thanks to Mason and the rest of the gang for their hard work and all around awesomeness! I hope I can be a part of this competition again next year.
To see the rest of the collection check out my 11/12 Photo Samples Page under “BIZ.”
Why I love Whistler reason #176: Summer glacier skiing!
When the regular ski season ended I made my way into the British Columbia wilderness for a couple shifts at tree planting camp. I started out on beautiful Shuswap Lake North of Salmon Arm and then spent a two weeks East of Vernon near Cherryville. Planting trees is hard work but I really enjoy it. To me it’s a great way to keep the mind and body in tune simultaneously. What other job can you listen to your favorite tunes 8 hours a day while cruising around on uneven ground with weighted bags on? Shoot, when I put it that way it does sound a lot like ski touring… haha.
When I finished pounding trees into the earth I made my journey home to Whistler for a completely different summer gig; coaching skiing on the Blackcomb Glacier at Camp of Champions. Campers of all ages from all over the world make their way to Whistler in the summer to ski one of the best terrain parks on the planet. I really enjoy meeting other people with a genuine stoke for the sport of skiing, and summer camp draws these folk like ants to a picnic. Personally as a coach I have three general goals for my campers. 1) They leave having learned something, 2) They play safe and 3) They have fun!
Here are two letters I received from campers after their sessions at camp:
“Hey Austin, it’s Percy, one of your campers from Session C… I’d like to say thanks for being my coach and making camp a super fun place and teaching me so much more than I expected to learn!”
- @PercyHoltz (15) via Instagram
“Thanks again for the great week! Hopefully I make it out to Whistler this winter to shred!”
- @Andy_Black7 (16) via Instagram
For more information on summer camp and to see video and photos from this summer check out www.campofchampions.com
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the awesomeness this summer and I hope to see ya’ll again next year!
It’s been snowing non stop since the 16th when I got back from Japan. I’ve been skiing everyday! Lately I’ve been getting back to my roots and re discovering all of my favourite lines on Whistler Mountain. In the last few seasons I’ve been getting more days on Blackcomb, so it’s been refreshing exploring new areas.
Yesterday I went snowmobiling up Sproat Mountain (south of Whistler) with Dan Carr. I had lots of fun looking for fun features and lines and skiing deep untracked snow. We spent all day on one lap and at the end we finished it off with a nice skin back to the snowmobile up top.
All this snow in town has raised our spirits here in Whistler after a considerably weak season. Keep an eye out for my next webisode with Epic Mountain Video, it should be out within the next few days.
Wanted to send my best to my bros Callum, Sean, Kye and Dane over in Nelson for Cold Rush. Get some boys! Hope the snow’s been good!
Have fun out there everyone, and play safe.
Ciao for now. :)
Thursday could’ve been one of my best days at Whistler/Blackcomb ever! First of all, it had snowed the last few days and on in the morning I woke to a flawless blue sky. Blue bird powder days are a rarity in Whistler and luckily I had plans to get out and shoot with photo legend Eric Berger and skier Chad Sayers.
We started the day with early lift access on the Peak chair where we made use of a head start on the public by skiing some great pockets of snow. We made our way to Harmony and got permission to do some hiking in Feltchers before the chair even opened. After our first run we lapped Harmony back to the top and milked our way back down to the chair being sure to shoot anything that looked good and fresh along the way.
After a quick snack we jumped in the helicopter and flew from the top of Emerald Chair to the Blackcomb Peak. After scoping our lines down an untracked Disease Ridge we landed on the highest possible point of Blackcomb Mountain. Our first turns out of the bird were amazing and before we knew it we were breaking trail through waist deep powder to ski our lines. We worked our way down Disease Ridge and followed the cornice to Lakeside Bowl. An eerie layer of light fog rolled through just as we finished up around 4pm and we ski’d out the Seventh Heaven road to the valley where it was time for a stretch and a brew. Thanks for an awesome day boys!
Here are some pictures I took throughout the day along with some pictures from Eric Berger. Check his site!
Last few days in the Blackcomb park have been pretty good, check out the video for an interview and some skiing. Off to China soon! Check back for a full recap in a couple of weeks! Cheers.
Whistler/Blackcomb has made some thoughtful changes this season that should not go unnoticed. Up until this year every restaraunt had multiple garbage cans making it all too easy for people to quickly dispose of everything left on their trays after their meal. Cans and bottles that could be recycled, left over food that should be composted and paper were thrown away. Luckily they have now hired a whole team of people to take the trays to a special area and sort through them. Remember going in for water breaks and having to fill three of those tiny plastic cups to wet your tongue before tossing them in the garbage and carrying on? This year they’ve introduced large, red, reusable plastic cups to further elminate unnecessary waste. Nice work team! I’d like to give everyone a friendly reminder to be conscious of what you can do to help preserve the earth. Re use water bottles, carry cloth grocery bags and turn the water off when your brushing your teeth. Every little bit helps. For more information check out http://www.ec.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=8B2F9F48-1Af
If you look closely at the left tower you can see a whole sandwich. Enough said.
Yesterday as I ski’d down from Blackcomb Mountain and made my way to the base of the hill I noticed a large crowd gathered at the Fitzimmons bus loop. Firemen, police officers, paramedics and Whistler Mountain ski patrollers were on the scene. Tower four of the Excalibur Gondola broke in half and sent three gondola cabins bouncing on the cable. One of the cabins went through the corner of a bus shelter, one was left hanging above the creek and the other got lodged between a tree and a house. There were no major injuries reported and everyone was evacuated safely.
This high pressure system left us with another clear day here in beautiful Whistler British Columbia. Callum, Kye, myself and photographer Bruce Rowles made our way up the Seventh Heaven access road as soon as we got up the the hill.
Black Tusk in the distance.
Seventh Heaven Chair. Callum and Kye hoofing it.
Green Lake from the our rest point.
Self portrait from the summit. Time for the oatmeal bar and water break.
We scoped our first shot from the ridge up from the Horstman Hut. Callum and I ski’d the Stupids and continued to traverse to the top of the Showcase T Bar. From there we had a short boot pack to the top of the ridge where we dropped in for our first fresh tracks of the day.
Callum up top. This is what we worked for, yeah bud.
The view into the Blackcomb Glacier from the top of the Showcase T Bar.
Here’s a look back at our traverse track. Check out how rad the line in the sun to the left is! That’s going to get hit. Look a little closer and you can see the crevasses in the ski out.
I got Callum to snap a shot of me before he dropped in. Thanks bro, nice turns!
Here’s the KPDC checking out his line.
Here’s the spine jump we hit in the Blowhole. Had a few good turns, a straight air and a flat spin 450 before skiing the road out. Check back to see Bruce’s action shots.
Top of the T Bar. Check out Callum, Kye and I in the shadows. Thought this was an interesting shot. There was some great light today but we’ll definately have to show up a bit earlier next time to take full advantage of it.
Here’s a snap shot of the full moon from the grocery store parking lot in Nesters before our trek home to Pemberton for the evening. Now it’s time to rinse/dry/repeat. Rinse of the sweat, dry out our ski boots and repeat it all again tomorrow morning! Bless.
The cloud layer hovered around mid mountain today keeping everyone in the valley trapped in the fog. The rest of us that were lucky enough to be in the alpine were blessed with some breathtaking views and great snow. Matty Richard, Brett Crabtree, Maxim Arsenault and I boot packed from the top of Jersey Cream chair up the Seventh Heaven road to the Blackcomb Peak. Our mission today was Husumi.
The cat road.
Acadian, Matty Richard.
The North face of Fissile. Can’t wait.
Whistler Mountain from Blackcomb.
Top of the first climb. Max and I traversed to the Blow Hole while Brett and Matty had some nice turns on the bomb tram.
Matty on his way to traverse to our final boot pack. There were a lot of open crevasses, everyone had to be aware of their line.
The final traverse to Husumi was the most consequential part of the day. The opening was a small mandatory air and there was no crashing, otherwise you’d be deep in the glacier. Check out these crevasses.
The view in from the top of our line. Spirits are high as we all drop in. Definately well worth the work for some awesome pow pow.
Here’s the view from the bottom, seconds after we ski’d. Time to race the rescue road and get some food!
Sublime day boys! Thanks for the vibe session.
So I’m learning how to manage my new website and I just figured out how to link videos from youtube.com! I wanted to share an edit with you that I made last spring in a couple days at Whistler/Blackcomb with the help of my buddy Blair Richmond. There’s some shakey helmet cam footy (from Baldface) at the beginning that may make you a bit dizzy but hang in there. The edit is mostly rails and boxes in the park. This is just an example of the kind of videos you can expect to be updated on this site all season long. Keep checking back for more jumps, pow slashing, cliff drops, pillows and trees and some cool urban set ups. Hope you enjoy! Cheers!