Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Powder Photo Annual

A couple hidden in there. ;) If you can imagine the walrus tusk on Mike a good 4 to 5 inches longer, that is what he looked like the weekend before that shot was actually taken (when I am ashamed to say I didn't have my camera with me). I hear it's kind of painful when the ice starts to melt. Alta storm days, mmmmmmmmm.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Heat is O-Off

I decided it seems silly to turn the heat on just yet when we own things like long sleeve shirts, hoodies, fleece jackets, down jackets, hats, slippers, blankets.... especially being a skier, and being one-with-the-cold and all. And being one with a "gear problem" the money I could be spending to heat my home would much better be spent on gear and say, cornbread for Thanksgiving. The temps in here have been hovering around 60 anyway. Currently it's reading 56. I thought it was warm in here yesterday, I thought maybe my roommate had given in and turned on the heat (though I should know better) but it was still off, just reading a high of 61.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Women's Skiing!!!!

If you are a female with a subscription to Skiing Mag... rejoice! The december issue will have your copy of the 3rd annual Women's Skiing issue. In this issue you will find a photo essay full of ripping women all shot by yours truly. I am deeply excited for the opportunity that Skiing has given to both my work and to the wonderful athletes I shoot with in showcasing our images. I hope you all enjoy the images along with the rest of the issue!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November Powder

I have a portrait of bad-ass skier and snowcat (amd 25 ton dumptruck in the summer) driver Alaina Huestis in the November Powder along with a couple shots in the White Highways piece.

I was beyond stoked when I heard they wanted to do my story idea on Alaina. We did two portrait shoots. For the first one she picked me up at 4am on the bypass road for a ride back up to the top of Snowbird just as the sky was starting to get light. She connected the winch cat near white diamonds in Mineral Basin, spun us around facing down the mountain, and we plunged over the edge, weeeeeeee! Since I don't get to do this kind of thing every day for my job... I thought it was super fun! We did a bunch of shots at the bottom of that pass, a bunch at the top, a few flash shots, and a few more of her driving. The sunrise wasn't as colorful as I was hoping for so we scheduled another day to shoot and decided to go for a sunset this time. The colors cooperated fully providing for some gorgeous warm tones in all the surrounding rock while the snow went a deep electric blue. The shots here were not used in the Powder article but are from the two days we shot.

I am also stoked on the couple shots in the White Highways piece. I have always thought if i wasn't a ski photographer I might live my life in a permanent road trip photographing everything along the way, especially the roads themselves and the fleetings views you get through the window. I call it drive by photography, haha. I will never forget those first couple cross country road trips and how i went crazy photographing everything. (crazy in a good way, of course!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bike Thieves

ARE JERKS. Get a real job and buy your own bikes. Or whatever you were really stealing bikes to pay for...or here's a novel idea, get off the drugs.

My garage was robbed of 5 mountain bikes. My dearly beloved Cannondale Prophet 2000 with the raw aluminum frame that has taken me on adventures through countless rides in Brian Head, Moab, Fruita, Stanley, St George, and up and down the Wasatch will be sorely missed. As well as Liz's fantastically orange Yeti 575, Dan's plush Rocky Mountain Switch, and Jamon's anodized black Yeti 575 and his big Giant Faith (Faith Hill we called her). Very much missed.

I hate to sound all materialistic but when you steal someone's bike you are stealing so much more than just a bike that can be replaced. That was my gym membership. My social outlet. My endorphin-producing, sun-providing, sanity supplement. My summer love. My weekend getaway. An on going challenge for both riding and fixing. An excitement for teaching other friends the love and joy of mountain biking.

There is this strange bond we have to our bikes sometimes and mine had been on-going for a good 3 or 4 years with this particular bike. I'm starting to get excited about the prospect of a new bike, but it's such a hassle when the one I had was damn near perfect for me. We'd been through warranties, replacements, tune-ups, flat tires, broken saddles, brand new gore cables, a recent brake flush, shorter stem.... dialed. In fact picked up from the local bike shop the morning of the night it was stolenafter being out of commision for a week and a half. I hardly go 1 or 2 days without riding usually. harsh.

The weeks following i was completely consumed with scouring ebay, and checking every city's craiglists within a 1000 mile radius. But it's gone. Gonna have to move on. So now i've moved into super bike nerd mode and have a spread sheet listing my bike, every other bike i've ridden to compare to it, and the bikes i might be interested in riding/buying. Of course the last week i could have demoed any bikes i was sick. and then it started dumping snow in the wasatch. So i guess I can move into ski mode now. But what a lame segue! I'm sure karma has something in store for the bike thieves at least.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fall Color

Well Saturday was a big day with Sarah and Sam's wedding, and then the annual Adventure Party. Waking up early on Sunday was not, "plausible" to say the least, AND IT SNOWED in the mountains that night, too. My roommate had the awesome idea of hiking up to Cardiff pass, figuring the snow might melt by the afternoon (you know, by the time we all woke up) since it is south facing and open to the sun. There was still snow on the top third of the trail on account of the lingering clouds, but the fall colors were AMAZING, especially with the contrast of the new snow. The Pfiefferhorn looked especially majestic with it's new white coat of snow. Anyway, not too much to comment on, just a nice hike with some A+ Wasatch scenery.

The photo is Alta's High Rustler through the gold aspen trees, just a quick snap on my point and shoot.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

re's meditation

I went for a hike up to Sunset Pass today since my bike is out of commission at the moment. I took the ipod shuffle for the hike up, but once i hit Catherine's Pass i turned it off to just take in the mountains. Upon reaching sunset pass I took some time to just appreciate the mountains, the green alpine meadows, the granite cliffs, the single track that is usually buried deep in the winter. And then i remembered what i actually like about hiking and running, and if you know me, you know I would much rather ride my bike than go jogging, but it's the pensive time. The time to let your thoughts wander, weigh the options on certain issues, contemplate everything from old friends, to new surroundings, to goals for the winter, for the year, for the next ten years.

I am not really into yoga or meditating, but i realized, this is my meditation time. And since i didn't have the Wasatch Back Relay to train for this spring, i went straight into biking, and have been neglecting my inner thoughts.

I jogged most of the way back down in the cool autumn air as the sun was retreating from the yellow and orange glow of the aspens and there was this awesome sense of peace and well being when I reached the car.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Women's Ski Jumping

It was kind of a last minute addition to the forthcoming issue of the Ski Journal, but they decided to run Vanessa Pierce's story about the exclusion of women's ski jumping in the Olympics. I was stoked for the opportunity to shoot a feature like this, but there is one minor issue.... it's August!

As i came to find out during the days i spent shooting, ski jumping is one winter sport that is actually a year round event. While they have twice as many competitions in the winter, they still do somewhere around 8 to 10 in the summer (maybe up to 15, I am spacing out on the number right now). Pretty cool, eh?

It was an honor and a pleasure to shoot these girls. Ski jumping looks to be about the closest thing to flying on skis. So these girls are tough, and they can virtually fly. I love it. What I don't love however is their exclusion from the winter olympic games. The more i learned about their fight to be included and every reason that gives them every right to be there, and awesome facts like "Lindsey Van holds the hill record on the new jump that was built FOR the 2010 olympic games" and they still aren't included, the more upset i became with every factor working against them. I think most of the girls have resigned themselves to the fact that they will not be jumping, and are probably sick of the whole thing and would rather go out and jump than be worried about the politics, but as a new-comer to this controversy, it was really upsetting to say the least. A make-you-want-to-punch-things kind of upsetting.

After all that though, I am happy to have had the opportunity to do my part in trying to bring more equality to the olympics. Be on the lookout for the article "DENIED" in the fall issue of the Ski Journal!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

OIWC's Polly-Ester Party

Amy Luther contacted me a few months ago about shooting the OIWC's (Outdoor Industry Women's Coalition) Polly-Ester Party during the Summer Outdoor Retailer trade show.

I was excited about shooting the event, but it was even more fun than I expected with all of the fabulous 70's dresses, and suits, and platform shoes.... it was great. We set up a "prom style" photo set which was located between the main building and the outdoor tent space. Some people really got into it! it was great! If you missed the fun or never found your photos, you can check it out here:

This party was more than just having fun in a 70's time warp though, it was a launch party for the OIWC's new Education Foundation and i am a sucker for helping in any way i can to see that other women achieve great things because that is just a normalcy in my life that I like to share with the world.

*also a huge thanks go out to Sarah and Sam for helping out that evening!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Peak Performace Backcountry Tour For The Cure

Two weekends ago I had the pleasure of spending a night camping under the beautiful Pfeifferhorn with 10 other girls who call the Wasatch home, at least in the winter. We had the most perfect weather with bluebird skies and barely a hint of wind. Kelly Holland decided she wanted to raise money for breast cancer research and have fun along the way. And that's exactly what we did. Vanessa Pierce has laid it out in words much better than I could, so I will direct you to her article along with my gallery of photos from a fantastic weekend: Backcountry Tour for the Cure

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"I do it for the joy, because I am a joyful girl"

I know.... I promised everyone i would be updating this while i was in Alaska. My first day in Girdwood/Alyeska was so overwhelming i couldnt get it all written out while i was perched over the laptop in the corner of the Sitzmark trying to concentrate over the music. I had started writing about how beautiful the sunset was, and how the golden "hour" lasted for many many hours, alpen glow until about 10pm on these giant intense mountains. I went from overwhelmed in the morning to, getting comfortable in these new surroundings and loving it. The next day dawned bright with an exploratory road trip into Anchorage for some extra camera gear followed by a hike up Center Ridge where the other photogs had already dug in, (where i also had the pleasure of meeting photographer Johnathan Selkowitz). But this day ended with a teary eyed sunset and the passing of skier John Nicolleta. After that, skiing and shooting was just "going through the motions" and being in Alaska didn't seem right. Shooting competitions didn't seem right. Being stoked on competitions didn't seem right. And being stoked on any skiing was hard to say the least. We went for a couple short road trips. And went for a couple tours off Turnagain Pass. Mellow tours to be sure. I wanted so bad to be happy about being in Alaska, but my head just wouldn't allow it. It was the first time I was ever relieved to leave some place so amazing, which is such an odd paradox to experience. Under ordinary circumstances I would have been perpetually stoked out of my gourd and then really sad when it came time to go home.

After leaving Alaska I stopped in WA for a short visit before returning back to Salt Lake. Since it is still full on winter up there, we had a fun stormy pow day at Mt Baker. Looking back it was a great day, but at the time, it was still so hard to be stoked on skiing. I have since returned to the comforts of home, spent a lot more time thinking about what exactly we do in the mountains, why we do it, how we go about it, how we should or not do certain things, have talked about it with close friends, and have been slowing re-learning to love the mountains. Slowly remembering what drew me here in the first place. Slowly allowing myself to enjoy them again for their solitude, for their sunshine, for their liberation, for their independence, for their challenge, for their friendship, and friendships created because of them.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Press Release: Shootout Winners

The Winners have been announced at Ski Press' website, check out the list and a preview of the winning photos.

update: the Ski Salt Lake press release is now up with larger/better views of the winning photos!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ski Salt Lake Shootout comes to an end

The awards for the Ski Salt Lake Shootout were handed out last night over dinner, after an amazing slideshow from the previous week. We were competing in 5 categories (powder, air, big mountain, mountain lifestyle, and city lifestyle) plus an extra award for best of show. I am so excited to share the news of winning the best mountain lifestyle! And must give thanks to Phillipa "Pip" Hunt for her amazing heel clicking skills. Ski Salt Lake will be posting the winners in the next couple days, so I will put up a link as soon as it goes live.

I have to say, this was one of the most amazing experiences. The whole week was full of morning to night shooting. I had Molly Baker and Pip Hunt with me for all 4 days, and also had the pleasure of shooting with Chris Collins on days 1 and 2, and Jason West on days 3 and 4. We started with Alta on day one, then moved to Snowbird, then Solitude, and capped it off with Brighton on the final day. Also, to meet and be in the same competition as those photographers whose work I have looked up to for so long is just indescribable.

Many thanks go out to Adam Barker as well for having the vision for the contest, and for executing it so well. It definitely would not have been the same without him.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ski Salt Lake Shootout

I have been accepted to compete in the first ever Ski Salt Lake Shootout, which will be going on next week, March 3rd to 7th, and is being sponsored by Ski Salt Lake ( and Ski Press Magazine. They are bringing in 5 seasoned pros and 2 "undiscovered" talents (one of which is yours truly). I have the honor of going up against Hank De Vre, Tony Harrington, Damian Cromwell, Grant Gunderson, Jay Beyer, and Brian Ralph. Definitely a little nervous, but also really excited.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Catching up on the last year

Just to highlight a few things in the past year....

Last summer i had the opportunity to spend a few days shooting the first ever Roxy Pop Drop water Ramp Camp. It was truly inspiring to see girls from all ages, and i do mean all ages, anywhere from 7 to 37, sending it into the pool, spin-after-grab-after-flip. It was awesome to say the least. Vanessa Pierce was there to provide written coverage for as well. Here are the links to the stories that went up along with a final gallery of mine at the end.

GIRLS AND BEACH BALLS Women head to PC for water ramp camp
TRAMPS TO RAMPS Mackenzie Epperson-Valum Blogs from Roxy Camp
ROXY POP DROP Photo Gallery

After that my summer was full of adventures. I ran the Wasatch Back relay for the 3rd year in a row, went canyoneering for the first time, and backpacking for the first time, spent enough time on my bike to win the Mountain Bike category of our annual summer adventure contest at work, rafted a few rivers, camped out everywhere, and visited as many places within about a 6 hours radius of SLC as possible, including Moab, Brianhead, Zion, Escalante, The Uintas, Fruita CO, Jackson WY, Stanley ID, and Bellingham WA. (okay that last one isn't within 6 hours....) It was truly the "summer of fun" and possibly the first time i have really honestly loved summer. You know, instead of just wishing winter would come back as soon as possible. And after the jilting by mother-nature we had here last year, the summer was a welcome season.

And speaking of feeling jilted by mother nature, it was looking like a repeat of last year, or even worse when the local resorts could not even open by Thanksgiving this year (that is a rare rare occurrence to be sure). But suddenly winter got punched into high gear. And by January we were getting hit by storm after storm with nary a bluebird day to be had. Early on in that month i had the pleasure of driving 12 hours in one of those storms on a return stretch from Silverton, CO. (for which there is also a Powder Gallery: SILVERTON DUMP Re Wikstrom reports from the San Juans) it was definitely epic driving. After 6 hours of driving in star-wars-warped-speed like visuals, I was close to sleeping in the car and waiting out the storm, but we pushed on through the night and eventually made it home.

I guess that brings us up to February and the current season here in Utah. Our train of storms has been in remission for a week or two now, but it is at least nice to see some sunshine for a change (although too much usually ends up in a gross air quality inversion for the valley so we'll keep the fingers crossed that the forecasted storms for this week will push all of that crap out). The Crested Butte comp is also going down this week, so sending out some positive hard-charging landing-stomping vibes to the girls!

News Archive from my website

I'm replacing the manual "news" updates on my website with this blog, so the following is all the old news. You can see it's been a while since the news was updated on my site. Hopefully the blog interface will keep things updated more frequently. Enjoy the blast from the past!

Greetings from Whistler Canada! I'm up here visiting, skiing,
and shooting with the international woman of mystrery, Holly
Walker. We just came from Baker, WA where we had two great
days of skiing, but a rough day of shooting (with Holly, Heather
Roberts, and Brianne Taylor) due to some thick clouds and low
visibility. We were lucky en ough to hang out with, and get the
full ski tour from Grant Gunderson, the photo editor of the new
(and really awesome coffee table quality) "The Ski Journal".
I Would have loved to stick around, but Whistler Blackcomb was
also calling from the north. It has been snowing here so we're on
a mission for some storm shots since I leave Monday and most
likely will not see blue skies before then. Tomorrow we will also meet
up with Sarah Oakden in attempts to make some more photo magic.

Wow, it's been a while.... been to Argentina and back. If you
missed the adventures of my ski bag, check in to
for a short narrative by Holly Walker and some photos from the
first few days (after i got my skis back!) of our trip. And seriously
if that's not the most lovable ski bag you've ever seen....
There is also some great evidence of our southern presence
on And many thanks go out to the people who
made the trip so much fun (i.e. Holly, Suz, Tobin, Bjorn, Jamie,
and all the other riff-raff we ran into).

As for the winter here in Utah, we are all trying to stay positive.
The epic storms have not materialized and a lot of people have
headed to the northwest where some places are already well over
200% of their average annual snowfall. Meanwhile, here in Utah,
we are learning how to avoid rocks and bushes, keeping in
perspective the fact that we can at least ski (unlike many other
drought stricken mountains), and keeping the faith that with a
little more patience we will get our dues.
Anyway, despite that slightly depressing state of the winter....
I am stoked to have been getting out to shoot a bunch in the
past couple weeks with Molly, Suz, and Kelly. We've been able
to explore a couple new areas, and do some sunset shooting.
I just think, at least we aren't on the couch bitching about the
conditions and are trying to make the most of it. And at least the
avie danger has been staying really low and there is some soft
snow to be had in some places (though harder to find right now).
There's always a good side, right?

The Outdoor Retailer Trade show descended on Salt Lake this
past weekend. A couple vendors I would love to highlite from the
show are GoPro Camera and Chrome. Both are awesome
companies with some super rad products run by really cool people.
And I am stoked to have picked up a couple of their goodies (the
Hero camera and a Metropolis messenger bag) to take adventuring
with me in South America!
Another highlite from the weekend was the "Ramp It Up"
event to benefit the OIWC (Outdoor Industry Women's Coalition).
This event showcased women's outdoor clothing lines in a unique
way... by hosting a DRAG SHOW! The "ladies" in drag were top
outdoor industry men from such companies as TNF, Horny Toad,
National Geographic and TONS more! The venue reached capacity
before the show even started, and once it did get underway it was
non-stop laughs, cheers, and cat calls. Being the first drag show
the OIWC has ever done, I know I am not the only one to say I
hope this was just the beginning of one of the greatest annual
events at OR.

P.S. 11 days till take off!!!

It's official. It's been official for a couple weeks now, and I can
hardly contain the excitement! I have plane tickets to South
America! It's been 3 years since my last visit and I am so very
excited to go back. After one of the most rediculous itineraries
I have ever been a part of (try flying from Salt Lake to Atlanta
to Ft Lauderdale to Bogota, Columbia to Santiago, Chile) I will
have a day to rest and explore Santiago before meeting up with
Holly Walker and Suzanne Graham to hop a bus across the Andes
and grab another transport from the city of Mendoza, Argentina
down to Las Lenas. We will have 2 weeks to pray for snow, shred
as much as possible, shoot as much as possible, enjoy our daily
siestas, and forget about life in the Northern Hemisphere. 24 days
until departure!

The past weekend was spent in the beautiful Spanish Peaks
in Montana. A month of two prior Kelly Holland mentioned skiing
in June and before asking for details I told her I was in. Previously
my June skiing experiences have been either working on Mt Hood
or annual trips to Tuckerman Ravine before moving west. This trip
was a little different. I hate to give away too many details right
now but there may have been some camping, a lack of trail to the
summit, a beautiful day of spring shredding with Kelly Holland and
Rachael Burks, and uh, a few mules.

Not that I haven't gone skiing since then, but it's been well
over a month since the chairs at Alta stopped spinning. We gave
the season a proper send off at the annual party on High Boy.
For those who missed it, or those who just want to relive it, you
can catch a glimpse of the debauchery on

Kirkwood has been a blast as always! The World Tour finals
wrapped up yesterday with mostly clear weather and 2 feet of
fresh pow! I travelled out here with partner in crime Holly Walker
and we've been enjoying luxury accomodations compliments of one
Ms. Amy Holland. Also got to meet the awesome Tess Weaver and
catch up with Kelly and Rachael fresh off the plane and enjoying
a week of jet-lag from their (mis)adventures through The Alps.
To recap the event, the qualifier went off on thursday with
some gnarly wind, but decent visibility. (Article and Pics are up on
). Friday brought more wind, along with fog
and snow. And while we all love new snow, it completely sucks for
judging a comp. That night mother natured dropped 2 feet of snow
over Kirkwood and then told the storm to split. Saturday was a full
on pow day... you know, for those people that weren't standing
around taking photos all day. ;)


We have come to the end of a sick 3 week storm cycle. There
were deifnitely some good shooting days mixed in there with some
radical stormy-pow-ski days. It's kind of sad to see so much of the
snow turning to mank, but it's spring, and that's how it goes.
With the spring however comes the North American and World
Tour IFSA Finals going off next week in Kirkwood! Stoked for the
road trip and the insanity that is sure to go off in The Cirque, woO!

Since November the snow gods have smiled upon the Wasatch.
We've been getting some really nice storms, not the huge snow
totals of last year, but the snowpack has been really bomber for
the most part, very unlike last year's huge avie cycle, and the
storms have been relatively consistent. It looks like we may even
get through a January without the dreaded inversion.
Speaking of avies above, I finally did the level 1 Avie course.
And I can't speak highly enough of how important it is to educate
yourself on avlanche hazards and safe travel in the backcountry.
At the risk of sounding like everyone's mom, please read as much
as you can on the subject, attend every free or non free clinic you
can, and then take the course. And don't expect to be an expert
strsaight away. Even the ex-forecasters, patrollers, etc who teach
the courses are still learning. The mountains are a humbling place
that deserve our respect.


Salt Lake is off to a slow start in the winter department. We
got a few inches this weekend, but weather models are calling for
another warming trend this week. All residents in the wasatch
area are encouraged to hold a sacrificial ceremony of ski burning
to please the snow gods.


Today is the Mountain Maiden release party for their 2006
calendar. You will find a couple photos from yours truly, along
with other photos of women in the outdoors, so get out and find
yourself a copy!


We have snow! A cold front came through earlier in the week
and left a nice layer of white over the Wasatch and the Oquirhhs.


heading up to the water ramps in park city tomorrow. i am
seeing alot of face plants in my future. oww.


This is the Obligatory Welcome-to-my-new-website-newsflash.
Accompanied by the usual this-site-is-still-under-construction-
disclaimer. woO

Monday, February 18, 2008

A redneck sledding monster truck saturday to start things off

Here goes the obligatory "this is my first blog post" post.

The weekends have been more crowded than ever up in Little Cottonwood Canyon and the barrage of storm after storm after storm after storm has stopped. And high pressure was building in. The only logical thing to do was take my roommate's new snow trike up to the bobsled trail and give 'er. (We also embarked on a 4 hour mission to find a saucer for me, but it was to no avail.) So we loaded up the hatch with boots, sled, full face helmet, some snacks, and some PBRs and off we went. A brief photo essay can be found on my flickr site.

We could have wandered to the top of the bobsled, but time was running short. There was a Monster Truck Jam to catch! We piled into the front seat of Steph's truck and headed to the arena. under the soft glow of flourescent parking lot lights, she unveiled the chrismas present that Dave sent down from AK (that he actually picked up while in mexico). Jamon almost peed his pants after reaching in the bag to pull out an authentic mexican wrestling mask! As it turns out, 4 people in mexican wrestling masks is a reallly good way to get featured on the jumbo tron. I think they had us up there twice as long as anyone else. And to top it all off, while Jamon and Greg were making children cry in the beer line, Steph and I were then put up on the "Kiss Cam" on the Jumbo Tron ONCE AGAIN!! Of course we proceeded to fake-make-out like aliens. I was worried we might be scaring the couple in front of us with the two small children, but at one point the wife turns around and says to us "thank you guys so much, i thought this was goiing to be kind of boring, but you guys are making this so much more fun!" (There is photographic evidence of the monster truck shenanigans as well)

And that concludes today's episode of a Very Redneck Weekend