I’ve had the chance to accompany my camera to just about every CMH Heliski area, and of every shoot I’ve done, one day stands out in my memory as the single most amazing day of heliskiing that I’ve ever photographed.
It wasn’t the deepest snow or the most vertical, although the skiers did 15,000 metres and the snow was blower - but the combination of the perspectives I saw through the camera and the variety of places we skied made the day truly exceptional.
Cold Smoke - When we left the Bobbie Burns Lodge that morning it was -25 C - the warmest it had been in a week. The face shots were so cold they hurt:
The Heart of Ski Country - With the Purcell Mountains as the backdrop, I stood on top of a knife-edge ridge and photographed a group dropping into their first run of the day:
At Sea - The vast terrain of the Bobbie Burns, an ice fog in the air, and a 400mm lens make this skier look as if they are riding rolling waves in the open ocean rather than ripping down a mountain face:
The Bird’s Eye View - No, this photo was not taken from a helicopter. After dropping off the other skiers, the helicopter pilot left me on top of a nearly vertical face. With a long lens I was able to shoot straight down onto the skiers and the bouncy snow conditions made for a dynamic interaction between the skiers and the snow:
The Moment - We moved into the Selkirks for the afternoon, and a skier from Germany named Kai Laumann made everything look easy; making many perfect opportunities for the camera:
It was the kind of ski photographer’s day that ends with every lens packed with snow, the batteries low, the memory cards full, the legs tired and the mind whirling with a million moments of some of the most spectacular skiing on the planet.