In the United States January is National Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month, but in British Columbia January is storm season. This means tons of snow in the forecast and many powder days on the horizon at Whistler Blackcomb.
The ARC’TERYX Deep Winter Photo Challenge, presented by GORE-TEX, celebrates the storm season by showcasing the photography talents of six of the ski and snowboard industry’s top photographers. This is the sixth year in a row that this competition has been held, and is a just one of the many ways this special time of the winter season is celebrated at Whistler.
“Deep Winter is all about showing images from the often untold side of winter,” says professional skier, Mike Douglas. “We get a lot of snow in Whistler in January, and it’s interesting to get out there and document the stormiest days. Shooting in stormy weather is way more work for both the photographers and athletes, but it’s also really rewarding to see what you can produce in just three days.”
The premise of the ARC’TERYX Deep Winter Photo Challenge consists of the competing professional photographers being given 72 hours to shoot within the bounds of Whistler Blackcomb. They’ll have three days to capture the mountains athletes in their natural habitat of powder-covered bowls, glades and of course après ski bars! After the 72 hours is up, the photographers will assemble a montage of their most photogenic images and the slide show will be presented to a live audience on January 14th at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. They will be judged by a panel of industry professionals with a prize purse of $8,500 and the title of “King/Queen of Storms” up for grabs.
This year’s contenders are:
- Robin O‘Neill – A Whistler local and not only last year’s second-place Deep Winter photographer, but also the winner of The Deep Summer Photo Challenge 2011
- Mason Mashon – Professional mountain biker, award-winning filmmaker and one of the brightest young photographers in the industry
- Jussi Grznar – Currently Snowboard Canada Magazine’s Senior Photographer
- Steve Lloyd – A Utah native and outdoor enthusiast whose photos grace the pages of everything from Skiing Magazine to Backcountry Magazine
- Mark Gribbon - Originally finding his passion in photography shooting skateboarding, Mark is now a commercial photographer specializing in action sports
- Reuben Krabbe - At 21 years of age Reuben is the youngest competitor and one of the biggest young up-and-comers in action sports photography
New for the 2012 edition of the ARC’TERYX Deep Winter Photo Challenge is the People’s Choice Award, essentially giving the people a chance to vote for their favorite photographer online. Each of the contestants will choose three photos taken during the competition and they will be posted online where the site’s visitors will be able to vote after the event for their personal favorite. The photographer with the most votes by the public will take home a heli-ski experience from Whistler Heli-Skiing. In return for their votes, users will be entered to win a prize package assembled by the event’s sponsors.
Tickets for the ARC’TERYX Deep Winter Photo Challenge are $20 and are available at any Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations location or by calling 1-800-766-0449. Doors open at 7pm and the slideshows start at 8pm with an after-party at Merlin’s Bar in the Upper Village.
To connect with the Deep Winter Photo Challenge online and for a chance to win tickets, check out Whistler Blackcomb’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/whistlerblackcomb and follow @WhistlerBlckcmb on Twitter.
The Deep Winter Photo Challenge is presented by ARC’TERYX, GORE-TEX®, and Whistler Blackcomb. Additional sponsors included Kokanee, Go Pro, Smirnoff, the Whistler Question, Atomic, and Mountain FM.