today is Nov 28, 2021

My name’s Sam Watson and I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah. I’ve skied in some amazing places but skiing at home is the best so I’ve chosen five favorite photos that I’ve shot close to where I live.

Each of these photographs has meaning for me but the two jump shots in this gallery are especially dear. Growing up skiing in Utah, I was constantly recognizing jump spots in ski movies that I had hiked past in the summer, or skied past in the winter. Utah’s mining history is partly to thank for that, as the two best known Utah gap jumps use tailing piles as the landings. The gap jump scene in Utah hit its highest point of popularity when I was really getting into skiing, and jumps like Pyramid and Chad’s were hallowed ground in my mind. I have been fortunate to shoot photos of these monster jumps, but building them and witnessing them in person is something special.

Trite though it might be, Utah does have the greatest snow on earth (at least while we still have a winter here). Skiing deep powder snow and photographing my friends skiing is one of my favorite things to do. I hope you like this gallery. May your seasons be safe and deep. — Sam Watson

Pep Fujas. Pyramid Gap, Wasatch Mountains, Utah

Photo Credit: Sam Watson

Pep Fujas. Pyramid Gap, Wasatch Mountains, Utah

Our crew of 10 had been digging for two days during a storm, knowing that on the third day the skies would part and the weather would be perfect for a session on the jump. Pep hit the jump first by default, because he is a ninja and had hit the jump before. A lot of crazy tricks went down on this jump that day, but this frame was my favorite. After hitting the jump five or six times, Pep left the session early to go pick up his daughter in Salt Lake. Rad Dad award. It is also the first photo I had published in Powder.

Erme Catino. Wasatch Mountains, Utah.

Photo Credit: Sam Watson

Erme Catino. Wasatch Mountains, Utah.

This was the deepest day of our lives. Erme is a tall guy, and it was well over his head. Perfect blower snow, and no one else around. Enough said.

Sam Cohen. Wasatch Mountains, Utah

Photo Credit: Sam Watson

Sam Cohen. Wasatch Mountains, Utah

I am a sucker for a silhouette photo, especially hiking shots. This one checks all the boxes for me. Amazing light, good hiking form, and a killer silhouette.

Henry Gates. Wasatch Mountains, Utah

Photo Credit: Sam Watson

Henry Gates. Wasatch Mountains, Utah

This was a week of huge snowfall that came in right side up so that it was deep and stable. We had a very hard time setting the skin track up to this very popular zone, but once we had it in, it was on. We lapped this area for most of the day, and the only other people who showed up to ski it were two of our friends. It was also two days before the deep shot of Erme in this selection. It was a few good days.

Karl Fostvedt. Alta, Utah

Photo Credit: Sam Watson

Karl Fostvedt. Alta, Utah

The final hit of the day on Chad’s Gap. This was right after Tanner Hall’s famous redemption session in April of 2017. The day prior, Karl called me to say he was driving to Salt Lake and wanted to link up to ski Alta for the day. I told him what was going on at Chad’s, and that he should come up. Karl and his girlfriend, Sierra, rolled up just after Tanner’s last hit. Karl politely asked Tanner if he could hit the jump, and proceeded to land a 360, two 720s, and the 1080 in the photo. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

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