UNPLUGGED Roadtrip: Deep Winter in Whistler


Oh hello there!

It is I, Christine McAvoy, switching gears from my music posting and taking over Unplugged for two very special posts…

(check out Post #1)

Somehow I got the incredible opportunity to venture north of Vancouver up to Whistler, BC for 3 days of what the locals call DEEP WINTER. January is storm season in Whistler, which means SNOW SNOW SNOW, and boy did it deliver this year.

To celebrate this time, Whistler-Blackcomb holds a photo contest by the same name, the Deep Winter Photo Challenge.

“Professional photographers shoot in-bounds at Whistler Blackcomb for three days capturing athletes in their natural mountain habitat of powder filled bowls, trees, and après bars. This year’s contenders are: 10-year veteran, Ilja Herb; accomplished snowboard photographer, Tim Zimmerman; Whistler local, Blake Jorgenson; outdoor lifestyle photographer, Robin O’Neill; Snowboard Canada Photo Editor, John Scarth; and up and comer, Andrew Strain.
Their edited slideshows will be played in front of a live audience at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and judged by a panel of industry professionals. A prize purse of $6,000 and the title of “King/Queen of Storms” are up for grabs.” –

Okay I’m back today with the results of the Deep Winter Photo Challenge that happened on the Saturday night in Whistler!

First of all I’m going to say: WOW! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a giant room full of people CHEER for photography before. It gave me chills every time a banger came up on screen and the room erupted…what an amazing atmosphere. I wish every day was like this.
This being my first year, the rest of the media people clued me in on what would happen…each photographer would introduce their slideshow, we’d watch it, and the panel of judges would pick the winner. This would prove to be an amazing and hard job to do after seeing all of the slideshows. Each were different in their own right, and there were so many elements on which to compare them…

No one has put their slideshow online yet, so I’ve poached some images from the internet and hope everyone is cool with that. (I did NOT know what to expect and I didn’t get the best photos from the back of the room haha).

First I’ve stolen photos from my new friends at Push.caCHECK OUT THEIR REVIEW HERE.

(hosts: Mike Douglas and Robjn Taylor and the trophy for “King of Storms”)

(photographer left to right:
Ilja Herb, Robin O’Neil, Andrew Strain, Tim Zimmerman, Blake Jorgenson and John Scarth)

(image poached from push.ca who poached it from Andrew Strain’s slideshow)


(this is photo is borrowed from the Whistler-Blackcomb press release – Shot by Blake Jorgenson WINNER of the Deep Winter Photo Challenge)

(Blake Jorgenson placed 1st, Robin O’Neill 2nd, and Andrew Strain 3rd – photo stolen from push.ca again)

(Ilja Herb took home the prize for Best Photo – push.ca photo, again, love you guys)

On behalf of Vancouver Is Awesome, I want to thank Whistler-Blackcomb for having us be a part of the Deep Winter experience and I cannot wait to see what Deep Summer has in store this year!

I wonder why they call it Deep Winter:

(yes, this one is my photo)