If you plan a photograph for almost a year, you want everything to go as planned on the final day. We had the perfect spot, amazing snow conditions, and the right people to make things happen. As well-prepared as we were, it wasn’t until the night before our shoot that we realized Tao had no touring-skies for the long hike that it takes to reach the spot. So we spent the whole night desperately calling friends to find a pair of skis for our sponsored pro-freeskier.
The next day it turned out that our borrowed, 30 year old skis were a worn-out piece of trash with screws that were too rusty to adapt the bindings to Tao’s boots. We ended up attaching them with duct tape, cable ties and cord, while Tao was carrying his powder planks on his back. Unfortunately, this MacGyver-construction would always just hold for 20 minutes of hiking, while the echo of our curses was reflected by the peaks, glowing in the last daylight.
We arrived at the spot as the sun was already going down, knowing that we had this one chance to get the shot. Don’t ask me how, but we somehow made it. And the second Tao landed the jump, we all knew that this shot was something special. I’d be lying if I said I cried, but I was pretty close.
The wait is over and we can finally share the first new images of this year's Red Bull Illume Image Quest! Every week, we announce the semi-finalists of a different category, so stay tuned for more mind-blowing images.