Kootenay Ski Photography | Panorama + RK Heliski

—Update—

Just got some great news, looks like Ski Canada Magazine ran a feature article using shots from this trip in their January 2012 edition! Woot. Check out Welcome Home at Panorama. Thanks Ski Can!

—February 2, 2011—-

Winter is back and the La Nina effect is in full swing on the coast. It’ll be a few weeks until I get my first turns of the year (not much in the way of snow out here in Toronto at the moment), but I’ll be back in B.C. for the ‘hols in December. ‘Till then, here is a little ski stoke from last season. Winter! We missed you.

 

 

Into the deep with RK Heli

 

Panorama – Dumping in the doughnut hole

Its been two weeks since I returned from Panorama and RK Heli Skiing and I think my toes have just thawed out. 10 days in ski boots (some of which at -30 C, hanging out the open door of a helicopter) have turned my big toes black with a touch of frost bite… but I’m not complaining! Its a small price to pay for this amazing gig. Our timing couldn’t have been better too with our arrival in Panorama, B.C. lining up with a storm that dumped what one old timer called the best snow in 20 years smack dab in the middle of ‘The Doughnut’.

‘The doughnut?’, you ask. Hit the jump to dive in deep.

Sterling, dropping in

Jobs like this one make me believe it’s possible to have your cake and eat it too. It was an amazing gig (big thanks to my mate and Marketing Manager at Pano, Jeremy) and the Kootenay pow provided the perfect icing.

The assignment: Produce images for Panorama Mountain Village to be used in the resort’s 2011/12 winter collateral – brochures, the web, social media, that sort of thing. We had 7 days booked (thanks again to Jeremy for the 5 star treatment) – 4 in and around the resort, 2 with RK Heliski and a backup day should the tight shooting schedule spill over.

 

The team: My good friend and partner in crime, Sterling Pearce. We’ve been skiing together since our university ski club days and more recently, Sterl has been earning it in front of the lens and behind it, schlepping lighting equipment one minute and ripping turns the next. Plus he’s from the Kootenays. Raised in Fernie, the 14 hour drive to Invermere from Vancouver through snow and darkness was like a homecoming, even if we swore never to do it in one day again!

The Doughnut: Panorama is not known for its snow. Actually, the resort has a reputation for missing most of the storms that blanket the surrounding Kootenay resorts (Fernie, Golden, Banff) with legendary deep, dry powder snow. Hence the moniker, ‘the doughnut hole’. Panorama, on the other hand is a favourite destination for the national ski team who spend the first months of the pre-season training on the resort’s legendary (and icy) groomers.

Now, we’re young (ish), pow-hungry skiers and were well aware of Panorama’s reputation which, frankly was not going to be a problem on this job. The resort’s marketing

Sterling and I sit in the 'honeymoon seats' at the back of RK Heli's big Bell 212.

is directed towards families and a forecast filled with the sort of vista-filled alpine sun-scape that earned Panorama its name was going to be perfect. Plus, we had reserved three days at the end of the trip to hit the backcountry in Rogers Pass. Mother nature, it turns out had other plans.

The storm, expected to completely bypass Pano took everyone by surprise and made itself at home right smack in the middle of the doughnut dumping nearly 80 centimeters of snow on Panorama… and rain nearly everywhere else. Change of plans.

We arrived Friday night/Monday morning. Checked in at 1AM (thanks Mountain Time). Wired from too much coffee and white-knuckle driving. Asleep by 2AM. Crew call in the coffee shop at 7AM. Rumors our sunny window is about to be slammed shut by an epic storm cycle. Here we go…

Lets let the photos do the talking from here.

-Evan | FSP.

The obligatory set-up shot to take inventory (i.e. show off) the gear before the big trip!

Whats in the camera bag

 

And, whats a ski photo post without a little GoPro footage?

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