2012 Powder Award Winners: Sean Pettit, Ingrid Backstrom & Tom Wallisch Earn Top Honors

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 28, 2012 12:28 pm

Sherpas Cinema’s All.I.Can., Sean Pettit, Ingrid Backstrom, and Tom Wallisch were awarded top honors Wednesday night, January 25th, at the 12th annual POWDER Awards presented by Casio G z’One Commando and Verizon Wireless. The historic Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colo. played host to the biggest night in skiing, where POWDER Magazine honored the Top 10 Men and Top 5 Women, as voted on by fans, as well as “Movie of the Year,” “Best Documentary,” “Best Jib,” and several other categories for top film performances in 2012.

Tom Wallisch awarded #1 Readers Poll at the 2012 POWDER Awards, Aspen. Photo: POWDER

In the Men’s Reader Poll, Tom Wallisch, originally from Pittsburgh, Pa. and now a Salt Lake City, Utah, local, claimed his second consecutive Reader Poll No. 1 this year. Following Wallisch was Sean Pettit (Whistler, B.C., CAN), Sage Cattabriga-Alosa (Salt Lake City, Utah), Seth Morrison (Frisco, Colo.), Bobby Brown (Breckenridge, Colo.), Kye Petersen (Whistler, B.C., CAN), Erik Roner (Lake Tahoe, Calif.), Tanner Hall (Park City, Utah), Eric Hjorleifson (Canmore, Alberta, CAN) and Henrik Harlaut (SWE).

“It’s awesome to win the award again,” said Wallisch stage right. “It’s something I definitely try to pride myself on-to be as friendly and fun as I can. The fact that the readers like what I’m doing, means a ton.”

On the women’s side of the Reader Poll, Ingrid Backstrom of Olympic Village, Calif., took the top slot. Backstrom also took home “Best Female Performance” for her part in Attack of La Niña (MSP Films). Rounding out the rest of the top five women was the late Sarah Burke, Kaya Turski (Montreal, Quebec, CAN), Grete Eliassen (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Rachael Burks (Salt Lake City, Utah).


Marker Völkl Freeski Team member Ingrid Backstrom cemented her dominating position in women’s freeskiing topping POWDER Magazine’s Reader Poll for the seventh straight time and winning the award for Best Female Performance at the POWDER Video Awards. Backstrom was the most decorated skier at the Powder Video Awards in Aspen.

A title that Ingrid Backstrom hasn’t won so far – she is hardly ever competing – but obviously doesn’t need to confirm her spot at the top of women’s freeskiing. For the seventh time in a row the 31-year-old American, who is currently residing in Squaw Valley, CA, won the prestigious Reader Poll. Her victory came on the back of yet another outstanding video segment in MSP’s Attack of La Niña and another great outing in All.I.Can from Sherpa Productions. The MSP segment won Ingrid Backstrom also the award for “Best Female Performance” at the annual Powder Video Awards in Aspen on Wednesday night. It was Ingrid’s fifth victory in this most valuable category since 2005 making her the most celebrated skier of the evening. 


Ingrid Backstrom awarded Best Female Performance and #1 Readers Poll at the 2012 POWDER Awards, Aspen. Photo: POWDER

The American has set the standard of the sport for girls in recent years with outstanding video segments, a benchmark that still remains untouched. It wasn’t obvious in her youth, that Ingrid would go this way. While growing up in Seattle, she was skiing often in the surrounding areas, but when she went to Squaw Valley after graduating from college in 2000, she only intended to do one year of skibumming. Today, the 31-year-old still resides in “Squallywood”, but not as a skibum, now as an internationally acclaimed freeski star. It all began with some freeride contests, where the trail running fan did very well despite not being the typical competition type. Her skiing caught the eye of video producers Matchstick Productions and in 2004 she entered the scene with a bang. Her incredible segment in MSP’s “Yearbook” earned her Powder Video Awards both for “Best Female Performance” and “Breakthrough Performance”.

“Matchstick still believed in me and we made it work,” said Backstrom outside the Hotel Jerome ballroom. “The fact I was nominated with women I look up to, the state of women’s skiing…I can’t believe I’m involved in it. It takes a whole year of patience and waiting for the safe conditions. You either get lucky or you don’t. It’s about the journey.” In the following years Ingrid kept pushing her limits, strait-lining whole AK faces, dropping big cliffs with front- or backflips, simply doing things that before only men would do while skiing big mountains. Ingrid Backstrom has legitimised to call female skiers real big mountain rippers, and is far from being finished.

One of Canada’s best skiers of all time, previous POWDER Award winner Sean Pettit, took home the 2012 award for Best Male Performance in another outstanding edit by Match Stick Productions, Attack of La Niña:


Sean Pettit awarded Best Male Performance and #2 Readers Poll at the 2012 POWDER Awards, Aspen. Photo: POWDER

For the Video Awards portion of the evening, All.I.Can. from Sherpas Cinema cleaned house, taking home several awards including the coveted “Movie of the Year,” in a notably contentious category that also included Attack of La Niña (MSP Films), One for the Road (Teton Gravity Research), After Dark (Level 1 Productions) and Weight (Stept Productions). All.I.Can. also earned honors for “Best Editing” and “Best POV,” not to mention, “Best Natural Air” and “Full Throttle” for Kye Petersen’s part in the film.

“We won at X Dance and the Banff Film Festival, but to have an award given to us by our tribe in the action sports industry means the most by far,” said Sherpas Cinema co-director Eric Crosland. “It’s something you dream of as a filmmaker. The film was really complex and it weighed on us the whole time how we were gonna convey it. But the whole thing had a lot of serendipitous moments.”

After a groundbreaking year that included travels to places as diverse as Hokkaido, Japan, and Cooke City, Montana, Parker White (Mount Snow, Vt.) was granted the North Face Breakthrough Performer for his role in Level 1 Productions’ After Dark.

“I definitely didn’t expect this, but I’m so stoked and grateful for the award,” said White.

The POWDER Awards brought together the best skiers, the most talented filmmakers and the legends of the sport for a night of celebration and tribute.

“We worked really hard on this show, and it’s great to unite the ski family at an event like this,” said POWDER Editor Derek Taylor.

Log onto PowderAwards.com to see the full show, behind-the-scenes photos, results and more.

2012 POWDER Awards Results

Reader Poll Top 10 Men
1. Tom Wallisch
2. Sean Pettit
3. Sage Cattabriga-Alosa
4. Seth Morrison
5. Bobby Brown
6. Kye Petersen
7. Erik Roner
8. Tanner Hall
9. Eric Hjorleifson
10. Henrik Harlaut

Reader Poll Top 5 Women
1. Ingrid Backstrom
2. Sarah Burke
3. Kaya Turski
4. Grete Eliassen
5. Rachael Burks

Video Awards

Best Female Performance
Ingrid Backstrom – Attack of La Niña (MSP Films)

Best Male Performance
Sean Pettit - Attack of La Niña (MSP Films)

The North Face Breakthrough Performer
Parker White – After Dark (Level 1 Productions)

Best Natural Air
Kye Petersen – All.I.Can. (Sherpas Cinema)

Best Manmade Air
Nothing Else Matters (Legs of Steel)

Full Throttle
Kye Petersen - All.I.Can. (Sherpas Cinema)

Best Line
Dean Cummings – The Steep Life (Nick Bowie)

Best Jib
J.F. Houle – After Dark (Level 1 Productions)

Best Powder
Tobi Reindl, Paddy Graham, Thomas Hlawitschka, and Sven Kueenle – Nothing Else Matters (Legs of Steel)

Best POV
J.P. Auclair – All.I.Can. (Sherpas Cinema)

Best Editing
All.I.Can. (Sherpas Cinema)

Best Cinematography presented by GoPro
The Ordinary Skier (1242 Productions)

Best Web Series
Salomon Freeski TV (Switchback Entertainment)

Best Documentary
The Freedom Chair (Switchback Entertainment)

Movie of the Year
All.I.Can. (Sherpas Cinema)

Photo of the Year
Darcy Bacha’s image of Sammy Carlson on Mount Hood, Ore.