By Eric Greene

Give me an excuse to spend a few days in Whistler, and I'm there. Everything else is dropped. If you're a shred-bum and live in a mountain town, scraping above poverty and ignoring real life because you log 100-plus days on the mountain a year… cherish these days. I've been there and lived that life, but it will end one day, abruptly, before you know it. I'm a desk bum now, punishing myself with more responsibility that I can handle at times, and I often want my old life back. Especially in January.


Russell Dalby and his camera gear


Colin D. Watt above, with Dalby below

I had the chance to spend a handful of days at Whistler Blackcomb last week for their Arc'Teryx Deep Winter Photo Challenge, presented by Gore Tex. Several photographers I know have taken a crack at this event over the years, but none of the snowboard-focussed lensmen I know have taken the crown. The challenge is gruelling: three days of shooting a team of "athletes" in-bounds on Whistler Blackcomb. The conditions are the same for everyone and after three days and nights of outdoor labour in the frigid January climate, there's a big party where each contestant presents a slideshow of the work they accumulated.

The party (aka. main event) is at the Fairmont Chateau and they do it up proper. There's a red carpet, fancy attire, many cocktails, big screens, loud tunes, and a grand spectacle to award prizes and a lot of money.  The six shooters to present were Reuben Krabbe, Mike Helfrich, Nic Alegre, Chris Christie, Andrew Strain, and our King Snow staff man, Russell Dalby.


Joel Loverin


The crew

Obviously I rolled around with Russell for a bulk of the event period. He's smart and has studied the past Deep Winter winners. They've all excelled in capturing that general mountain vibe and essence of Whistler. So, even though Russ stands sideways as a religion and had Joel Loverin, Colin D. Watt, Andreas Wiig, and some other riders, he added a skier to his crew for variety's sake. And not just some rogue skier, but his pal Dan Treadway. Dan could be the coolest skier that has ever lived and I got to watch little skier kids and 40-year-old snowmobile rednecks fan-out on him all day long. He makes us snowboarders look like nerdy little bitches. All of us.


D. Watt photo

Anyways, Russell won. It was awesome. He was all nervous and had to get up on stage to speak in front of 1,200-plus people, then Colin D. Watt and Feet Banks iced him on stage. He took a knee and crushed a Smirnoff like the champ that he is.

We at King Snow are claiming Dalby as the representing champion of Deep Winter this year. Massive thank-yous go out to Whistler Blackcomb, Chris McLeod, Lauren Everest, Arc'Teryx, GoPro and all the other photographers and event organizers that were a part of Deep Winter. It was a damn good time.



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