Twelve Years of Powder Awards

Recounting the memorable moments leading up to the 13th annual Powder Awards

Scott Gaffney and Shane McConkey. Real mature.

The 13th annual POWDER Awards presented by Icelandic Glacial kick off in Park City, Utah, January 17 at the Park City Live music venue. The annual red-carpet event that celebrates filmmakers, skiers, and photographers has taken on several different locations and iterations the last 12 years, so we’re looking back at the highlights.

The first annual POWDER Video Awards and Reader Poll in 2001 was held in a Las Vegas night club. “It was an awesome night,” remembers former POWDER Editor Keith Carlsen, who conceived the event. “We couldn’t afford the club for the entire night and it was a hip-hop club, so the place was overrun as we were finishing up. It became a bunch of white skiers mixing it up with a hard-hitting Vegas club scene.”

One of the original video awards handed out that night was Best Humor, which is now defunct. That year, Scott Gaffney, in association with Matchstick Productions, released the unforgettable Shane McConkey biography There’s Something About McConkey, a pseudo-parody There’s Something About Mary. Being their usual comedic selves, Gaffney and McConkey, who won the first-ever Reader Poll, knew the inaugural event would be a prime spot to perpetuate the good times.

“I think the diaper idea was mine,” says Gaffney. “It was pretty clear we were going to win, and we couldn’t go up and give the typical speech. Since our sense of humor was pretty juvenile, we figured we’d take it a step further into infantile. Back home before the show, we came up with the idea to present POWDER with our own award as a show of appreciation for the PVAs. Because we were in diapers, it made sense that the award came in the form of a teddy bear. When we won, we thanked POWDER and tied the teddy bear to the microphone and then returned to our seats in the front row. What no one knew is that we had gutted the teddy bear and placed a remote-controlled fart machine inside. Then we sat there and triggered it while others, including host Greg Stump, spoke the rest of the night. In theory, it was perfect. Unfortunately the fart sound wasn’t as distinguishable as we would have hoped.”

Shenanigans notwithstanding, Gaffney goes on to remember taking a photo with Stump (“the man who set the course of my life in motion”) and being excited that ski cinematography finally had the proper venue to be celebrated. “I thought it was awesome that someone was stepping up to honor our hard work and to give the athletes well-deserved recognition. So many years later, it seems odd to that such an event never even existed prior to that.”

To have the chance to form another memorable moment in 2013, go to PowderAwards.com and vote for your 10 favorite male and five female skiers. Or vote via Twitter or Instagram, using the hashtag #PowderAwardsVote.