Duncan Adams: 17 years old and on the cover of Powder Magazine

Duncan Adams: 17 years old and on the cover of Powder Magazine

On December 20, 2009, Duncan Adams’ phone rang. Josh Berman of Level 1 Productions had some news to share.

“It’s not 100 percent sure, but it’s 99 percent,” Berman told Adams. “You got your first Powder cover.”

Adams, a Breckenridge team rider, had just turned 17. The photo that graced the cover, shot by Vail-based photographer Jeff Cricco, showed Adams in perfect form on top of a steep powder spine in Haines, Alaska.

For Adams, known by most as a promising pipe skier who took third at the 2008 Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge, the Alaska photo was not only the biggest thing to happen in his career, but also proof that he was a more complete skier than anyone realized.

What got lost in Adams’ glowing moment, however, was the event that immediately preceded its capture. At just 16 years old, he’d flown to Haines to ski some gnarly lines for one of the industry’s leading film companies. He’d climbed out of the helicopter for their first run, perched on top of a massive cornice. One guide scrambled to unload their skis from the basket, while another held the door. A second athlete got out, then a third.

Suddenly, a huge chunk of cornice calved off the mountain and began rumbling down the steep mountainside. Adams and Stefan Thomas, another pro skier, went with it. They fell an estimated 400 vertical feet before coming to rest 100 feet above a giant crevasse…

Rest of the story here

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