Behind the Gram 2014 – #5 Bryce Phillips in Snoqualmie Pass Backcountry
Much of my work is consumed these days on Instagram (I’m @scottrinck), and it’s there that I find the most interaction in the online world. I also learn a lot about what images resonate with people and why. In looking at this info, I decided that it would be fun to take this time at the end of the year and share my 5 most popular Instagram posts of 2014 and give the story of how the image was created. This is the first of 5 posts. I hope you dig it.
Original Caption: Yesterday’s photo was half of the equation. Here’s the other half. Mountains are best experienced on foot. Runs earned with sweat trump ones earned with money every time. Park the sleds, leave the heli in the barn, let the chairlifts rust. Climb+Ski=perfection. Bryce Phillips in the Snoqualmie backcountry.
Technical Details: Captured with Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Olympus 9-18 4.0-5.6 Lens @ 9mm (18mm equivalent). Exposure 1/1000 sec, f/10, ISO 200. Color and contrast adjustments in Adobe Lightroom. Cropped and uploaded via Instagram.
Story: Bryce Phillips is one of the more interesting people you’ll find to take some turns with. He and I met at the beginning of the century when we were both aspiring pro skiers sponsored by K2. Bryce has since turned this youthful obsession into an incredible and complex vision, merging outdoor sports, retail, art, real estate, philanthropy, culture and design. His handiest title is CEO of evo, an outdoor sports retailer with a major presence online and stores in Seattle and Portland, but his worldview is far broader than the title indicates. If it’s future thinking and it’s happening in the northwest, odds are, Bryce is in on it. To get the whole debrief on the man, the myth, the legend, pick up the October issue of Powder Magazine and check out the big ol’ Bryce Phillips feature article, including photos by yours truly. All that aside, he’s still an absolute crusher on the skis, and we like to get out in the hills, snap some photos and rip lines like we did in the good ol’ days.
Bryce and I were recently back from a trip to Japan, and were riding a wave of stoke about skiing, so when a classic NW storm deposited a foot of stable, low elevation snow, we decided to run up I-90 to Snoqualmie Pass to make a couple quick morning laps in the nearby backcountry.
As we reached the summit of our peak, an amazing mixture of sun and clouds rendered incredible depth in the textures of the new snow on the almost vertical east face of the peak. Bryce was kind enough to hustle up the final pitch of the climb in order for me to catch the shot. If the day had ended right there, I would have been pleased, but that was just the start. We were still atop one of the best steep skiing destinations around, and the snow was PERFECT.
Bryce opted for the uber-classic east couloir, while Brian Fletcher and I clawed our way into one of my favorite lines of that year, a face of incredible complexity and joy, the shot of which landed on the Powder Magazine Intro page. Here’s the video of the rest of the descent (hit refresh if the video doesn’t load).
Beyond pleased with our morning thus far, we put the skins back on the skins and headed up for another lap…and then another. These are the days when it all comes together.
To follow the ongoing adventures follow @scottrinck on Instagram!