The Skiers Cup, the equivalent of golf's Ryder Cup, pits Team Europe against Team America in a match-play format.
Athletes compete in two events, backcountry slopestyle and big mountain, and begin high on the mountain so they have room to create their own lines. The best riders in the world, including Seth Morrison, Cody Townsend, Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, and Callum Pettit, attended the event in February. They fought and lost to Europe’s squad, which featured Julien Reignier, Richard Permin, Sverrey Liliequist, Kaj Zackrisson, and Samuel Anthamatten.
Shooting the Skiers Cup is always a pleasure, and this year was even more spectacular with the dramatic Matterhorn looming overhead. But it's always a challenge to find the right position to shoot from to capture the action, the scenery, with 4,000-meter peaks towering above the riders, and the immensity of the glaciers.
Single-digit temperatures and strong winds are also an issue, and they're compounded because I have to lug a heavy photo backpack, move fast, and manipulate high-tech gear. During some stages, I had the chance to shoot directly from the open door of the helicopter, which provided an amazing angle. In that case, the communication with the pilot is key to ensure good positioning of the chopper and a smooth descent as we follow the riders.
TOOLS: Nikon D810, 70-300mm, 1/5000 second, f/4.5, ISO 200