Twenty-one Colorado ski resorts. Twenty of the best ski and snowboard photographers in North America. One hundred and fifty athletes. Over a thousand rolls of film. And one half-naked woman on a white horse.
Put them together, and what do you have? The first annual Mountain Media Awards, of course.
This January, SKIING Magazine and Colorado Ski Country USA assigned 20 of North America's finest ski and snowboard photographers to 21 of Colorado Ski Country USA's resorts with the mission of capturing on film the best of what each resort had to offer. The payoff? Thirteen thousand dollars in prize money.
The photographers were randomly matched with a Colorado resort and were allowed to shoot at the resort for several days. They then entered two of their photos into each of seven judging categories -- lifestyle, ski and ride, air and jib, resort, backcountry, nightlife, and scenic -- which were evaluated by a panel of six judges.
Taking home the $10,000 first prize was photog Mark Gallup of Calgary, Alberta, who shot at Vail. Paul Morrison (Whistler, British Columbia), who shot at Telluride, finished second and received $2,000, and Scott Spiker (Columbia Falls, Montana) took the $1,000 third prize after shooting at Monarch.
"It was a really close competition," said event coordinator and SKIING Magazine photo director Mark Doolittle. "The photographers did a great job and we're all extremely happy with the results. We're already looking forward to next year." The event was co-sponsored by Mountain Sports Media, Kodak, and Photo Craft Laboratories of Boulder, Colorado.
Oh, and about the woman on the white horse: Picture Lady Godiva riding topless down Bridge Street in Vail. Stay tuned to SKIING Magazine next season for more information.
Click here to see the photos and to vote for your favorite. The top vote-getter will make it into the September 2002 issue of SKIING.