We stationed ourselves on a 140-foot yacht at the end of British Columbia’s Knight Inlet. A very remote area, the inlet itself is one of the longest in Canada, reaching deep into the coastal range near B.C.’s tallest peak, Mt. Waddington. We knew the snow stability wasn’t great, but this crew of skiers had been waiting three weeks for a break in the weather.
The filmer and I hovered in the helicopter above Andrea as she dropped into the run. On her left was a series of cliffs, which she wanted to avoid by going down a small ridge, then dropping into a chute skier’s-right of the rocks. The slide broke loose on her first turn. She was immediately dragged into the middle of the biggest debris, heading straight for the cliffs! She picked up speed — the chute was amazingly steep — and fought against the flow. If she lost the battle, the outcome would be tragic! She hit the chute she wanted to ski at incredible speed; almost freefalling, all of her equipment exploded off. She cartwheeled down the mountain, and finally stopped. She came out of it with a blown knee. The crew pulled the plug on the trip, and we all went back to the yacht for some spring wakeboarding.
Additional notes: I’m a little embarrassed to say that, in all the excitement, the camera controls must have been bumped in the helicopter. I know that I started at a shutter speed of 1/1000, at F7.1, only seconds before I took the shot, but it worked out for everybody in the end. For a tripod, I used an A-Star B2. A little expensive, but so damn fun.