Steamboat skier, photographer stand out in national contest |

Steamboat skier, photographer stand out in national contest

Brendan Wu shoots off a cliff in the Steamboat backcountry earlier this winter, as photographed by Ned Cremin. The photograph was selected as the winner of a contest sponsored by North Face and organized by Teton Gravity Research.

— It was the end of a snowy, cold day, and they were at the end of the run, or almost at the end of the run, anyway.

"The cliff was right at the bottom, right above the run out and we were going to call it a day," Brendan Wu said. "I'm really glad we didn't."

No kidding. Instead, Wu and photographer Ned Cremin decided to try one more shot. Wu, skiing in backcountry terrain near Steamboat Ski Area, cut through the deep snow and thick forest, hit a powder-covered rock and flew off the cliff. The landing was tight, as well, "one-body width," Wu said.

But Cremin got the photo and now, months later, that photo was chosen as the champion of a national extreme skiing photography contest, the North Face Photo Contest hosted by Teton Gravity Research.

It's the second time Cremin has scored in the contest in the last three years. A photo of Kerry Lofy hucking Hells Wall also won in 2012.

This one was different, Cremin said.

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Thanks to "one of those storm systems Steamboat gets where it's snowing hard for three days straight," he said, it had been a great day for skiing, but not so much for taking photos.

He'd worked with Wu on a few projects the past two seasons, and when they came across the final vantage point, they opted to give it one more go.

Cremin, shooting a Nikon D3 with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, only needed a couple of frames to get the one he wanted.

"Watching him drop and blast through the trees I knew it was great to see and I just hoped I caught him at the right moment," he said. "It worked out. As soon as I was able to play it back on the camera, I saw a couple of frames that were pretty solid and that one frame was definitely the most dramatic of them all.

"The athlete is what makes it work. I've been lucky enough to have Brendan in Steamboat to work with me. "

The pair scored a gift package from TGR and gift certificates from North Face, but the exposure as much as anything has been sweet. Cremin is planning to work with TGR again on a project in Jackson, Wyo., next season.

"It’s great to be recognized by the leaders who set the visual standard for film and photographic aesthetic in the skiing and snowboarding industry, TGR,” he said.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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