“I was thinking maybe you could gap this ravine?”

Fall-line cover 126Cover star (and Fall-Line tester) Chrigl Luthy tells us about the making of issue 126’s cover.

“I was thinking maybe you could gap this ravine?”

James Geen, local Portes du Soleil photographer, was piecing together a photo he had visualised for some time. We had arrived at the location and he was sharing the vision with me (directing the performing monkey).

It was a phrase that reminded me of Shane McConkey’s impersonation of ski photographers in one of his films: “Just ski down there and jump off something, for cryin’ out loud!”

While some ski photographs materialise as a result of something the skier spots and wants to do, others, such as this, come from the photographer’s eye for a good shot.

So, somewhere in the collection of giant boulders up near the top of the Brochaux chairlift in Lindarets, Avoriaz, there was a 25ft x 25ft gap that needed jumping.

On inspection, there was a fine line between undershooting and overshooting the landing on the other side, but I figured the undershoot and resulting clatter to the bottom of the chasm was probably the least desirable of the options, so I made sure I had more than enough speed.

There wasn’t any space for trickery so I went for the simple tuck and enjoyed the ride as the ground opened up beneath me. The truth is I just made it.

James shot with a Canon 7D and 17-40mm and had a strobe at the bottom of the gap to uplight me to balance the backlighting from the sun.

In the original shot, there was a backlit trail of snow in the air which flew up after take-off because the snow was so light. Great fun.

Thanks James. Looking forward to getting more goods this coming season.