People say a picture is a thousand words, but sometimes there's more to the story...
No rest for the Wicked : Alta Backcountry
It was early season, I believe around end of December 2016. Sam (photographer) and I had this idea to head up Patsy Marley (east boundary to Alta Ski Area) to find a step down too shoot at sunset with Mt Superior in the background. When we ascended the cornice ridge, we thought the transition was plenty steep but never went around to look at it from the bottom. Our plan was to build the jump and hit it same day but by the time we got jump built we realized the in-run was going to take another day of excavating. So the next day I show up and dig out the whole in-run, meanwhile the camera crew went to town on the takeoff and it ended being way bigger than I had visioned. We ended up sitting around all day and into the evening in the cold and wind to ensure no one hit it before us. In the end, it was one of the flattest landings of the season but this shot made it all worth it.
Words : Thayne Rich // Photo : Sam Watson
Powder Farmer : Alta Backside
This rare opportunity for me at Alta Ski Area came in February 2017. We just got through a big cycle and I was hunkered down in the Patroller Shack atop Collins waiting for beta on the next rope drop. I was with Sam (photographer) Austin (filmer) and Thayne. We got the nod from Jesse the patroller that the backside was next on the list so we started our march up the ridge. We approached a group of frothing locals already anticipating the drop and to my surprise they were cool with us hiking past them as guided by patrol to a higher ridge spot for an early drop. The face was pretty steep, the snow was bottomless and sloughing and the turns just bounced from left to right with ease. Another crew led by legendary Lee Cohen was to our right. I remember overhearing Lee reprimanding his pro skier son Sam to, “Make his turn at the camera and not past it." I can’t even imagine what that life would be like for those two, the days they spend “working” to inspire a whole generation of skiers to quit it all and move to Alta. This is a top 5 photo from last year for me and reminder of great times with all time crew and host.
Words : Matt Sterbenz // Photo : Sam Watson
The Creme of the Crop : Faces of Alta
Like clockwork, the Holiday Season at Alta Ski Area begins with a cold front dropping 1-3 feet of snow and then clearing for 2+ weeks for visiting skiers to relish in the sun and that wind buff on Northwest faces. To celebrate, we set out on New Years day to interview some of the Alta locals about what makes Alta their home.
Words : Matt Sterbenz // Video : Matt & Austin Ramaley