“WTF?!” – Our Favorite Type of Photo

By:  Sam
August 4, 2009

Preface: Greg, Allen, and I compete about virtually everything. Number of ski days, cliff size, racing to the mountain, etc. As Allen has said: “if it can be done, it can be won”. ….. Which brings us to today.

Though Greg and I are often proud of shots we’ll get of someone skiing pow, or some great landscape shot, its often the photos that leave the viewer scratching their head that are most memorable to us. I’ve made a point of taking shots like these, and have developed quite a collection over the years. Greg thought that he did to though, so we’re making it a contest and crowning a winner.

It seems a little selfish to hog all the fun though. If you have a photo you’d like to submit to the contest, by all means, enter and be judged. The winner will receive undying respect of the ski community, a Burger King cardboard crown, a ring pop, maybe a sticker, and will be entitled to add “FIS WTF photo contest winner” to their resume. Just don’t forget to tell us the back story to the photo.

So, without further adieu, here are my entries for the first annual FIS.com “WTF photo-off”.

This pretty much speaks for itself. Not the good life, and few trees in sight…..

Me, skiing Dodges Drop in my undies. This came about in an attempt to one up Greg, and “win” dodges.

In search of the first snow of the year. There was a dusting hidden up in the cloud, I swear…..

Reeeallly early season skiing at Bolton in October. “Keep those tips up!”

EXTREME-ly stupid skiing at Killington in October. That was an inch of snow on a steep slope covered with sharp pointy rocks.

Really, really tight woods.

Wes ended up not hitting this cliff. He was a little nervous about the drop, so I suggested he throw his bag down. This would take weight off his back, and help him see what the snow was like. The bag dropped the full 30 feet, hit the ice that was under the dusting, and slid half way down to where I took this photo from. Wes understandably chose to back off.

During the Valentines Day storm, Wes and I were skiing quickly through the woods when he decided to attempt to hurdle the downed tree you can see in the left of the photo. Instead, he jumped up onto it, lost all forward momentum, fell off the front of it and right into the stump that you can see lodged in his crotch.

Wes is a common subject in this contest. Here is Wes after flubbing the landing off of the waterfall at Stowe early in the season.

After a long week, I was very tired and trying to keep up with Allen in some low elevation woods at Stowe. I turned to avoid this tree, but not quite hard enough. I hit carrying a lot of speed, the ski went through the tree, and I flipped through the air and landed in a rotten tree stump 15 feed down the trail. I’ve never seen or heard of this happening before.

Sometimes when bushwacking, you encounter situations you otherwise wouldn’t on skis. After pushing through some dense brush, Allen and I found ourselves in the tops of trees that started a good 15 feet below. To get down we jumped out of the tree you can see allen in, slowed our fall by hitting a branch on the way down, and then landing in bush that is out of the photo at the bottom. Quite literally, tree skiing.

Wes skiing the shrubs above Stowe.

One day, Allen and I got bored and had a contest to see who could ski through the tightest pair of trees at speed.

Road skiing in Burlington on a parking-ban day. Quote of the night: “Holy Shit! I just got a face shot on Hyde St.!”

Allen, Ben and I went exploring one day and ended up doing one of the most henious bush whacks we’ve ever done. It took us 4.5 hours to ski 2k feet, and we got out after sunset. On the way down, we ended up following this stream for a large part of the distance, but right here it failed us by turning into a water fall. We were left with no choice but to huck onto ice with darkness approaching and no idea where we were.

Those who really, really know Stowe, know that this tree is typically covered over with snow, which is how I expected to find it. Only quick reflexes prevented me from taking bark to the teeth.

Heres another of Allen getting ready to jump out of a tree during a day of exploration.

Beat that Greg, you hack!

Booo yA


Read about the author:   Sam
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: The Wasatch Sanction


  1. Mom
    wrote on September 2nd, 2009 at 2:05 pm  

    I was at the library laughing out loud at the pictures! Couldn’t get the video. I think the library might not have the right downloads.

  2. matt roon
    wrote on September 3rd, 2009 at 5:29 pm  

    this website is amazing. it needs to start snowing soon

  3. powdayvt
    wrote on October 16th, 2009 at 8:06 pm  

    Seriously, you guys are core! So funny. I thought I was “experimental” with my skiing but you guys take “exploring” to a whole new level… nice job keep up the determination and the candid pics!

  4. Harvey44
    wrote on November 7th, 2009 at 12:21 am  

    This site is really good for a chuckle when there is no snow. LOVE the “tree skiing.”

  5. Greg
    wrote on November 16th, 2009 at 2:44 pm  

    That’s what we’re going for Harvey! Thanks!

  6. Keith
    wrote on November 20th, 2009 at 9:58 pm  
  7. nihiles
    wrote on November 23rd, 2009 at 10:21 am  

    skiing engleberg, we found the slopes too crowded and iced out from all the pizzas. so satisfying a bad small mountain habit to have on big mountains, we went in the opposite direction of all the people. in the midst of softer, less cut snow we came across this sign in the middle of the slope. a real head scratcher, especially because we didnt come to a road for at least 500 vertical feet… which is where we thumbed it back to town.

    • Greg
      wrote on November 23rd, 2009 at 11:09 am  

      pretty clear to me… ski for 500 vertical feet (which equals 3X in metric) and you risk schussing over a car’s roof… duh! (fixed your embed btw… gotta use the html code just above the text box.) Thanks nihiles

    • nihiles
      wrote on November 23rd, 2009 at 11:51 am  

      knowing only english for measurements and language, the best we came up with was 1 to 3 pairs of skis on sedans ONLY or AT ALL TIMES.

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