Steamboat Springs It may have seemed like a sick joke or maybe a death wish considering the winter — or lack thereof — Steamboat Springs just endured, but winter 2009 was perfect, and local skier Kerry Lofy still is reaping the benefits for the leap he took that season from Hell’s Wall, a massive cliff in the Steamboat backcountry.
Lofy and Ned Cremin were named winners in a national extreme skiing photography contest. Cremin’s photo of Lofy’s huge huck recently was named the winner of the freeride category of the The North Face Guts For Glory photo contest put on by Teton Gravity Research, capping months of voting.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Lofy, one of Steamboat’s most avid adventure seekers.
He said the photo came just short of winning a helicopter skiing trip for the pair. It did, however, net them two pairs of new skis among a pile of other loot.
The photo was taken in April 2009 after a particularly big storm left the ski area and everything surrounding it buried deep in powder. Lofy had been eyeing the legendary Fish Creek Falls-area wall for months but only summoned up the guts to fly off the top and into the pillowy snow after that big storm.
He recruited a few friends to come along for safety reasons and enlisted photographers and videographers to document the event.
“Shooting it was a little bit of a problem,” said Cremin, who has focused on photographing skiing and snowboarding photos in Steamboat and across the state for about seven years.
“I wanted to make it dramatic, but I didn’t want to get too far away,” he said. “I wanted to be close to the action, but wasn’t really sure where his jumping-off point would be, what the trajectory would be on the jump or how much speed he’d be able to create coming off of it. I posted up on what I thought would be a dramatic standpoint to capture not only the cliff, but also the athlete, and it worked.”
For Lofy, the recognition the contest has brought has been sweet, and something he’s worked years to try to build. He’s spent much of the past couple of seasons trying to secure a toehold on the extreme skiing community.
That’s come naturally in some senses. He spends many of his weekends tracking down backcountry terrain all across the region and his summer months skydiving, BASE jumping and even speed flying.
The quest for sponsors is ongoing, however, and having one of his finest moments featured prominently on a major online skiing hub like Teton Gravity Research hasn’t hurt one bit.
“It was really nice because it was a nationwide thing,” Lofy said. “TGR is pretty big, and it’s been cool talking to their marketing people and being able to say, ‘Hey, if you ever need a skier ... .’ Just getting my face on the map has been great. People have said, ‘Oh, you’re the Steamboat kid that hucks big. I saw your picture on TGR.’”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com