This image is one I visualized many times over the past few years. I finally made the effort to capture it!
Living in the Rocky Mountains provides unique opportunities for winter photography. As an avid skier, I enjoy spending time out in the high alpine, hitting the slopes as well as taking up the challenges associated with photographing the beautiful surrounding landscapes.
Breckenridge Ski Resort, the closest to home, is situated in the White River National Forest. The skiable terrain itself is spread across six peaks for all skill levels from beginner to expert & extreme, with my favorite descending from the summit of Peak 8 at nearly 13,000 feet (3962 meters) in elevation.
My journey starts at the base of Peak 9. It takes a few chairs and nearly an hour to arrive. Once ski patrol completes their morning avalanche mitigation and the prevailing winds are in check, the Imperial Superchair - the highest in North America - opens up and we are a go!
On this particular morning my goal was to arrive as the lifts started spinning with the hopes of catching morning light illuminating the surrounding peaks as I made my way up the mountain. The cloud cover, however, was thick, allowing only the occasional beam of light to penetrate.
I scouted this familiar scene from the lift and then skied down to capture it. The long lens allowed me to compress the landscape, providing detail of freshly fallen snow on the foreground trees in addition to the peaks themselves, ever so dimly illuminated through the clouds. A perfect morning to another perfect day in the high country.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor