"It was absolute sensory overload in there," says Skupinski of the spray cave behind Helmcken Falls in British Columbia. That's where the Calgary shooter spent five days with U.K. climber Tim Emmett last January. "We eventually managed to top out—eight pitches in a single push. This one was the hardest," says Emmett. "The ice has the texture of a bag of sugar. You don't know if your tools will hold or you're going to bring it all down with you." TOOLS: Canon 5D Mark II, 17-35mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 160, f/2.8, 1/100 second.
It was a crisp January morning when Schenholm captured this image of Swedish freeskier Linus Archibald catching air beside a stand of spruce trees in Switzerland's Engelberg resort. "The night before, the temperature dropped and everything froze," says Schenholm, of Gothenburg. "There were millions of tiny icicles on the trees." To capture this phenomenon, plus a bit of what it felt like to ski through it, he had Archibald hit a small kicker the two had built in the resort's sidecountry. "This is exactly the photo I wanted: a little bit of action, a lot of these crazy beautiful trees." TOOLS: Canon 1D Mark III, 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/1,000 second.
On the morning of the 2012 Red Bull Cold Rush freeskiing competition in Silverton, Colorado, in March, a massive avalanche ripped loose from 13,405-foot Storm Peak and took out half the slope. But the event went on as planned. "I was at the bottom shooting portraits of the competitors after their runs," says Outside senior editor Schaffer, 34, who caught Sage Cattabriga-Alosa skiing an unexpected line. "On his final run, Sage traversed out to a gorgeous untracked slope. I just happened to look up and snap a couple of framed. Ordinarily, you'd never see someone ski so close to a fresh avalanche." TOOLS: Canon 5D Mark II, 24-105mm f/4 lens, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/1,000 second.
Former professional kayaker Dan Gavere, seen here launching over 35-foot Punchbowl Falls on Oregon's Eagle Creek, is taking the wildly popular sport of paddleboarding in his own direction: whitewater. "I'm certain this is the biggest waterfall anybody has ever SUP'd," says Munsey, of White Salmon, Washington. Gavere and Munsey rose at 6 a.m., hiked two miles to the falls, and spent 20 minutes scouting the line. "Dan was nervous," says Munsey. "But he had an elegant dismount." TOOLS: Nikon D700, 70-200 f/2.8 lens, ISO 400, f/4, 1/640 second.