For 22 years running, the end of August has marked the beginning of winter here at FREESKIER magazine. Each year, our production cycle starts with our be-all-end-all annual bible of ski gear, the Buyer’s Guide. Inside, you’ll find hundreds product reviews featuring the season’s best new tools, accessories, apparel and more—all in stunning print format. Now, without further ado, before the magazine hits newsstands on September 10, 2019, we’re giving you a sneak peek behind this year’s cover photo.
A note from the Editors of FREESKIER:
Choosing the Buyer’s Guide cover is always a balancing act. It sets an aesthetic tone for our current Volume of magazines and, if we’re doing our jobs right, should send shivers down your spine, making you day-dream of mid-winter. For the last several Buyer’s Guide covers, deep powder skiing has been the focus; for Volume 22, we wanted to take a different approach.
The 2020 Buyer’s Guide cover shot is by photographer Nic Alegre and was taken in the Chugach Range in Alaska. Alegre was harnessed into a helicopter, door removed, hanging halfway out to capture his buddy, Nick McNutt, running the steeps.
What we admire most about this photograph is its subtlety and the unique, “shot from above” framing. If one thing jumps at you immediately, it should be the juxtaposition between McNutt’s smooth-as-silk turns and the ridiculous, heart-racing exposure just over the edge. Look again and you’ll notice the longtime pro had the audacity to air-out over a crux in the line, which takes some serious cajones. Good on ya, Nick.
Behind the cover with photographer Nic Alegre:
On the sixth day of a weeklong high pressure system in the northern Chugach, Nick McNutt was as confident as I’ve ever seen him. Everything was on the table for him, and our crew was operating on all cylinders. Nick has a good sense for what myself and the TGR cinematographers are looking for, and as I saw him trending towards the cliff as we shot from the helicopter well into the pattern, I switched cameras for something wider than the 70-200 millimeter lens I was using for the top of this line, then framed him up. The GSS system, with cinematographer Jon Riley directing traffic and controlling camera one, is a smooth operation and the whole team has been working together for quite some time now. A lot of things have to go right for a shot like this to turn out, and we get better at ensuring that they do each time we are in the field together.