This week, I'm writing from Vermont. I arrived on Thursday night and began skiing Friday morning at Jay Peak. I decided to try not to take photos on the first day and focus more of my time on snowboarding. This plan was immediately changed after my group rode up the first lift and saw the amazing view from the top of the mountain. Except for my friend Carly, none of our group wanted to ski back to the lodge with me to grab my camera, so Carly and I decided to split up for a little bit and try get some photos. For the trip I brought my Canon 5D Mark II camera body and 24-105 f/4 lens. These two components were put into separate bags which were then thrown in my back pack. The plan was when I wanted to take a photo, I would set my backpack down and unzip it, open the smaller bags and assemble the camera, take the photos, then pack everything up and go on my way. I thought this would be a good idea because my camera could be safely transported throughout the mountain and I wouldn’t have to worry about it getting damaged. The first photo we tried was a shot of Carly looking off of the mountain. We set our skis on the side of the slope and I went to set up my camera. I took off my gloves and realized that my genius plan to leave my camera disassembled was a horrible idea because it was so cold. After about 2 minutes of freezing my hands off, I got camera together and managed to get the shot. As I was packing up my camera, I noticed my hands turned blue. I decided after that to leave the camera back inside the lodge and focus on riding for the rest of the day. Conditions on the mountains were great because there was real snow on the ground as opposed to the fake snow that they blow on mountains in Pennsylvania. That night while my friends were eating pizza, I decided to sneak off and go outside to get some pictures. I wanted to get a shot of the gondola base with stars above it. I didn’t have my regular tripod, just a small 6" travel one. I attached my camera and set it very conspicuously on a ski rack. I shot a few 30 second exposures and managed to get one that I really like. I walked around and tried to get other shots of things like the ski lifts and the mountains, but none of them really worked out too well. After about 40 minutes of taking photos, my phone completely shut off due to the freezing temperatures, so I went inside. The next day we found ourselves at Stowe Mountain. The forecast predicted for the next two days was completely cloudy, and since we were at 4000' above sea level, the mountain was in and partially above these clouds, so there was no view and therefore I would not be able to take pictures. Day two, Saturday, was fun as far as riding was concerned, it was just really cold. Our last day was Sunday, and I had my bags all packed and ready to go home (Except for my snowboard bag, which was stolen at the resort. If you’re reading this "guy who stole my snowboard bag", I would like it back, please contact me via email). Because the weather app on my phone said it would be cloudy, my camera was left in my suitcase. When we got to the resort, I looked to the top of the mountain to see not a cloud in the sky. I didn’t want to grab my camera however because It was -27 degrees with a -45 degree windchill at the summit. We skied for a little while and though I knew it was a bad idea, after riding the main lift to the top, I saw a perfect place to get a photo and went all the way back to the bottom of the mountain, opened my suitcase, and got my camera. Thinking I was being smart, I assembled my camera and threw it in my backpack because my hands would spend less time in the cold, this turned out to be a pretty horrible idea. I headed to the top with my friend Renata to attempt to get this photo. To get to the location for the photo, Renata and I had to ski down a double black diamond, which in ski terms is the hardest classification of slope there is. These trails tend to be very steep and are covered in bumpy patches of snow and ice. If you aren’t careful, you can slide out and fall pretty hard. Whilst I was trying to safely make my way down, I slid out on a patch of ice that was covered in a thin layer of snow blown over by the wind. I fell down onto my butt and smacked my bag right on the ice with full force. When I got to the bottom of the run, I took my camera out of my bag to check it and see if it was okay. I turned on my camera and discovered that I had done damage to the inside of the rear LCD. I was pretty bummed, but knew that I wasn’t going to get this opportunity again, so I figured I would at least try to get the shot. I had Renata stand on the side of the mountain looking off into the distance and get photos from behind that would showcase the view. After the shoot, I packed my bag started for the bottom of the mountain. I have never ridden down a mountain so slowly in my entire life. That ended up being our last run of the day and we headed home. As I was editing the photos from the weekend, I realized that the picture from the top of the mountain with Renata didn’t even turn out that great, which is disappointing considering I broke part of my camera trying to get it. Overall the trip was a pretty fun experience and I got a few shots that I really like.
Until next week! -Evan