The November ’13 issue of Freeskier—the 2014 Resort Guide—is currently available on newsstands and via iTunes. This here is a sneak peek at the Epics photo gallery featured inside. For more on the six images above, be sure to read each of the photographers’ blurbs below.
Image 1: Tero Repo on Sven Mermod
“This was pretty much the most efficient day of the last season. For two runs the clouds stayed below us and Sven was making every single turn count. By 1 p.m. I was already in the office browsing the shots on my computer.”
Image 2: Erik Seo on LJ Strenio
“I started working with LJ in 2007 and six years later nothing’s changed. He’s always stoked, coming up with cool and crazy ideas, going massive and taking his hits for it, and getting me published shots every time we shoot together. When his name comes up on my phone in the morning, I know it’s going to be fun and that I have it easy that day.
When I showed up to this feature, LJ and Jake Strassman were already digging this ridiculous two-foot wide Traveling Circus style tow-in run. It went over the speed rollers and through the woods, before you jumped into a bunch of tree branches that led to a slam-into-the-wall style opp tranny. After taking his hits trying to get his trick dialed, LJ slammed into my flash that I left in the out run of the landing. LJ was more concerned with the condition of my equipment than that my misjudged gear placement made him crash on what would have been his stomped trick and ticket to stop slamming into the wall. A few slams later he got the trick for video, but he was still more worried about replacing the light stand than of the extra hits he took.”
Image 3: Jay Beyer on Jason Leppi
“Turnagain Pass has been my backup plan for every trip I’ve ever taken to Alaska. If the weather doesn’t work out, I could always go there and tour and shoot and still have a great time skiing. However, after nine seasons of shooting in AK I still hadn’t been there. So this past year I booked an extra week before my trip into the Tordrillos to explore this fabled touring zone.
We headed out on a stormy morning expecting to get some pow turns, but when we got to Tin Can ridge it started to clear, so we pushed toward Tin Can proper. We got there right as it cleared and the sun was starting to bake the southerly aspect. Jason, being the kind local, let everybody pick their lines and ski first. Then he dropped in and raged this line. I had known Jason for a while but never had skied with him and was pleasantly surprised when this former Michigan racer destroyed this pimp AK line.”
Image 4: Mason Mashon on KC Deane
“KC and I have shot hundreds of photos on this one big face we call ‘Step Down City.’ Pretty much picked it clean over the years. There wasn’t much good snow anywhere else up the Rutherford, as everything below 6,500 feet was either sliding or wind hammered and sastrugi coated. After 12 hours of shooting our crew was battered and sleds were damaged, but KC and I decided to stay up late while the others limped back to the parking lot. We found this beauty drop right beside the jump spot we had shot on earlier, and waited for the sunset light to illuminate it.
Shots like this get me really excited about photography, because no matter how many times you visit the same place, you can always find a new way to see it. Also, my camera battery died right after I took this photo.”
Image 5: Oskar Enander on Piers Solomon
“I started shooting with Piers two years ago after a friend of mine told me he would be a good rider to check out. I saw straight away that this young guy was a super solid skier. He has a really smooth and powerful riding style and loves riding big lines but he also knows how to act in the air.”
Image 6: Nate Abbott on Gus Kenworthy
“Have you seen two squirrels playing tag? C’mon, you know the scene. They’re up, down then side to side. They tumble and roll and maybe go flying through the air only to land right on their damn feet and scamper back to the top of the tree again. Gus Kenworthy, meet the squirrel. Squirrel, let me introduce you to Kenny.
On this day, with a multiple option feature, Gus seemed to always be towing behind a sled or flying over the lift station. First he was sliding the rail, then there were a few airs straight over, 70 feet to a smallish landing. Finally for this trick, he was carving from the skier’s right jump takeoff to the five feet of transition on the left side of the rail landing. Snowmobile, tuck down, pop, double flip, snap perfectly into the tranny. Repeat. Gus Kenworthy, dropping hammers like skiing’s frantic squirrel.”