Embedded: Ski Salt Lake Shootout

Riding shotgun, with camera, in Utah's Cottonwood Canyons for a four day ski-photo competition

If skiers are the heroes of the ski world, then ski photographers are the unsung heroes. These are the guys (and gals) who are out in the field at all hours questing for that idyllic image that is usually a confluence of chance, free will and necessity (or so says Melville)… which is to say a lot of hard work and creativity, and a little bit of luck. Sure, some photographers are heroes too, but the majority of them are trying to scratch out a living and get published.

This week, for the Ski Salt Lake Shootout ski-photo competition, Powder.com has been embedded with a different photographer’s crew each day, at Alta, Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude. Each of the seven participating photographers is charged with coming up with the best portfolio of (8) images, two from each resort—so it adds a deadline component to the already well-known difficulties of banger image-creation in the first place. Based on what we’ve seen already, the final product will be impressive—thanks to some of that luck, including 16 inches of new snow on the eve of Day 1.

There will also be winners… to be announced at a party in downtown Salt Lake City tonight, and later we’ll be rolling out a selection of the top photos from each photographer’s Shootout portfolio. There’s also a Facebook fan-favorite contest that will be ramping up on Visit Salt Lake’s page (linked above) that we’ll keep you posted on. Now, the behind the scenes stuff… — Tim Mutrie, text/photos

Update: Feb. 12, 7:22 p.m.:
Winners: 1. Garrett Grove, 2. Andrew Strain, 3. Steve Lloyd; “Urban Meets Mountain” category: Lee Cohen.

Grove quote: “It was a great week and we had a super strong team. I haven’t spent too much time skiing in Utah, so without the help of Nick [Russell], Jason [West] and Forrest [Coots], I would’ve been clueless. I was there to capture the zones that they took me to.”

Day 1, Feb. 8: With photographer Steve Lloyd’s crew at Snowbird.
Day 2, Feb. 9: With photographer Lee Cohen’s crew at Solitude.
Day 3, Feb. 10: With photographer Garrett Grove’s crew at Snowbird.

What follows below is Day 4, Feb. 11, with photographer’s James Douglas Shields’ crew at Alta.

Day 4 of the Ski Salt Lake Shootout— The James Douglas Shields crew rallies for the final day, Day 4, at Alta's Collins lot this morning (10:15 a.m.). Skiers Julian Carr and Matt Rink are here, but absent is the crew's snowboarder, Rob McFarlane, because, you know, it's Alta. Also in attendance is Nicolas Cruz Mermy (aka, "Frenchy.") After riding the Collins and Supreme lifts, the crew beelines for Rocky Point and the Classic A-Frame hucking stone. Here, Rink, Frenchy, Carr and JDS, from left, scout.

Day 4 of the Ski Salt Lake Shootout: The James Douglas Shields crew rallies for the final day, Day 4, at Alta's Collins lot this morning (10:15 a.m.). Skiers Julian Carr and Matt Rink are here, but absent is the crew's snowboarder, Rob McFarlane, because, you know, it's Alta. Also in attendance is Nicolas Cruz Mermy (aka, "Frenchy.") After riding the Collins and Supreme lifts, the crew beelines for Rocky Point and the Classic A-Frame hucking stone. Here, Rink, Frenchy, Carr and JDS, from left, scout.

Julian Carr, listening to acid jazz, looks things over.

Drops.

Drops.

Then front flips.

Then front flips.

From another diving board in the same zone, Frenchy pulls what Carr later describes as a cat-thrown-outa-window, and stomps the landing. Score: Frenchy, 1.

From another diving board in the same zone, Frenchy pulls what Carr later describes as a cat-thrown-outa-window, and stomps the landing. Score: Frenchy, 1.

Rink sends another Rocky Point zone drop.

Rink sends another Rocky Point zone drop.

Post-hucking, the JDS crew heads up the bootpack toward Tuscarora. Frenchy and Carr discuss other things, like hucking and the situation in Egypt, during one pause as, above, JDS and Rink discuss some options off the ridge.

Post-hucking, the JDS crew heads up the bootpack toward Tuscarora. Frenchy and Carr discuss other things, like hucking and the situation in Egypt, during one pause as, above, JDS and Rink discuss some options off the ridge.

After a fruitless mission to another huckstone (it wasn't in), Carr departs to catch a flight for Boston and eventually the crew retraces its steps to Tuscarora and then up to the summit of Wolverine. Here, 4:09 p.m., JDS, Rink and Frenchy.

After a fruitless mission to another huckstone (it wasn't in), Carr departs to catch a flight for Boston and eventually the crew retraces its steps to Tuscarora and then up to the summit of Wolverine. Here, 4:09 p.m., JDS, Rink and Frenchy.

The final mission is a descent of some west-facing coolers of the Wolverine Cirque that had yet been skied since the storm. Frenchy agrees too that sometimes there's a reason things haven't been skied -- upper portion is dust on crust.

The final mission is a descent of some west-facing coolers of the Wolverine Cirque that had yet been skied since the storm. Frenchy agrees too that sometimes there's a reason things haven't been skied -- upper portion is dust on crust.

Frenchy and the Wolverine Cirque, from Twin Lakes Pass after the last ups of the event.

Frenchy and the Wolverine Cirque, from Twin Lakes Pass after the last ups of the event.

Posted In: Mantle, Photos

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  • Matt Rink

    Was fun to have you along yesterday Tim!! Got that follow cam vid uploaded yet?

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