Tommy Penick Photo

Commercial and Outdoor Adventure Photographer

A Tribute to a Good Friend (Winter)


It is with great sadness that I write this post because it means my dear friend, Winter, has come and gone.

Gone are the evenings of making fires to stay warm, the mornings full of new snow excitement, and the echoes of hooting and hollering heard around the mountain as the Stoke overwhelms those making turns in the fresh snow. But alas, Winter seemed to only stop in for a short visit this year. Being a southeastern skier with a track record of usually getting 70+ days on 800' vertical hills and moving to the land of pros, Squaw Valley, I started the season with huge expectations and hopes of a monstrous 800"+ season that isn't impossible in the Sierras. With only a few measly 12" storms after an incredibly promising start, personal goals of backflips and big lines disappeared and business goals as simple as just shooting snow also feathered away.

It's tough to stay positive with such a horrifically terrible season, but I think we did our best. I was fortunate enough to come off of the Grand Canyon with an invitation to join the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows season contract through Novus Select, and had the pleasure of working with both mountains and almost all of the photographers involved. In addition to helping plan logistics, casting, and assisting on shoots, I had the opportunity to build a great rapport with some awesome athletes, different companies, and the resorts themselves.

As hard as I make it try to last, I think it's time to call it a year for my good friend Winter. After a jaunt down to the coast and a climbing trip to the south, I've realized I've got to move on to my other sports in other seasons. There's a lot of beauty out there right now, and it's just not in the snow. Time to get back in the water and back on the road!

Goodbye, dear friend. I already can't wait to see you again in November.