D: Craziest adventure?

CJ: My craziest adventure was probably a backcountry trip shooting photos with Dan Gilchrist, Troy Hoff, and Aryeh Copa, in Utah.  We spent all morning skinning up this large series of pitches across the street from Alta.  We got to the top, checked the snowpack, and shot a few POW sequences, and a few big air shots coming off a few cornices up top.  The vibe was great until we worked our way around the ridge a little too far .  We had our pieps, avi gear, for our protections and our savvy with us, or so we thought.  We stumbled somehow out onto a wind-loaded slab that compressed.  Whhuuuuumpppphhhh!!!!!  It was huge. Only Troy got taken down with the slide with refrigerator down to basketball size chunks of snow.  Miraculously, he skied it out.  Gilchrist got away clean with a few turns, and only Aryeh and I were left stuck on a part of the slab that didn't go, stuck right in the middle, of course.  We talked it out, made some plans, and decided on B-lining our way off as best we could. No secondary slides happened and, fortunately, we made it out, but not without a load in my shorts and a fresh, re-awakened respect for mother nature.

D: Do you like shooting comps?

CJ: Comps are definitely the blue-collar aspect of my job, but I enjoy them nonetheless. Whether they're big mountain or big air, I kind of pick a few locations and hunker down to shoot ten or fifteen rolls.  Big Air comps are usually more fun and more chill.  There's Red Bull or something flowing, and spirits are usually high.  With Big Mountain comps, the weather seems to usually (except for, of course, Utah) be cold and shitty.  Burly riders are hucking in mediocre conditions.  I sometimes get freaked out a little, but really I'm blown away at the diligence and focus of the competitors.  Some of the stuff that people are skiing is damn near poetic, men and women alike.  It's hairy, but really inspiring.  And there are plenty of good pictures to be made, for sure.  Also, props out to the folks organizing these things, the IFSA etc., they're doing all they can to make things safe and exciting. It's improving the sport for sure.

 

   
 

 

Note: While this is a great photo, we can only imagine just how locked down this young man's mind is, matching his choice to, indeed, lock his heels.

Location: Crystal Mtn, WA

 

 

 

D: Who are your favorite riders to shoot?

CJ: Loaded question.  I guess I have a lot of favorite athletes to shoot with in a variety of sports.  But if I had to name a few skiers, I d probably say Dan Gilchrist is definitely one.  He's the tele guy for Warren Miller films. He shreds hard. Ski Mountaineering, bumps, hucking, pow, you name it.  He's cool and he's always into making good images (see issue 3 of Descender).  And also I really like shooting with Tommy DeAngelo.  He's a US Ski Team guy who just recently turned to the Freeskiing Huck scene.  He throws down sick 1440's, backflip 540's and stuff like that (check out the profile on him in the next issue of Freeskier Magazine, it's sweet) and he's really easy going.  I also just shot with Charlotte Moats, the newest female ripper on the national scene, last week in Utah.  She kicks ass and can ski with any guy I know. Also, she's fresh at 19 years old, not callused to the scene.  She seems to just love making turns.  Watch for her!  And then there's , aw man, you know, I could name a lot of people, from the national big-names to my local ski buddies who rip hard.  Whatever the sport, I just love shooting with great athletes who love what they do, and have a sense of humor, of course! We gotta keep things straight and not too serious.  We're just out in the woods goofing off, after all.

D: What's your ultimate photo shoot scenario?

CJ: The same as yours.  Great friends, fresh pow, bluebird, high spirits, safe conditions.  Maybe toss in a little cash.

D: What s cooking right now?

CJ: Well, a ton. I m heading to Europe today to shoot over there for a few weeks.  I'm shooting stills for the a new tele movie that's being made called Unparalleled, shooting with some sick birds from Sweden in Chamonix and Verbier.  Frode and Oscar, they've both been featured in Descender past issues (ed note: Yo Chase, you're welcome for the hook ups! Where's the props?!). I'm also hooking up with a few clamped-heel skiers over there for Freeskier and Freeze, as well as shooting the Big Mountain competition in Solden, Austria. It should be a blast.  Busy but fun.  When I get home from that, I ll likely be off to interior BC for more movie stuff.  Then I'm home to chill with Kate for a bit and shoot some catalog stuff for some companies before heading to Alaska in the mid to late spring if I m not too fried.

D: Favorite place to shoot?

CJ: Backcountry anywhere.

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Descender Issue 4:

Mossfeldt on Metal

Air by Frode

Telemark Sheik

Unimog de Luke

Tomas Tips

Chair 13

About this Issue

Discussion Board

Past Issues:

Issue 1

Issue 2

Issue 3