Behind The Lens With Christian Pondella

A short video on the POWDER senior photographer and general badass

In 1994, POWDER Director of Photography David Reddick was lapping Mammoth’s Chair 22 on a storm day. On the lift, he met Christian Pondella, a young photographer himself, who also happened to be skiing the chair solo. Reddick gave him a business card. Twenty years later, Pondella is a senior photographer for POWDER and his images are some of the most recognized in skiing. An expert climber, Pondella is known for being able to put himself in places most photographers simply can’t get to. This video is produced by F-Stop, who has Pondella on their pro team, and makes bags for adventure photographers.

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Junk in the Truck: Dakine Concourse Double Ski Bag

An essential for the traveling ski bum

WORDS: Julie Brown

Dakine Concourse Double Ski Bag
Dakine.com
MSRP: $225

As a skier, it’s hard to travel light. Not only do I need to pack the gear essentials. But I’m a girl and I need clothing options for when I go out to the discotheques in Verbier. So that’s why I use the Dakine Concourse Double Ski Bag. This thing is so big it fits everything I need for any trip: my skis, backcountry setup, curling iron, helmet, jackets, little black dress—you know, the things you can’t leave home without.

Dakine offers this ski bag in two sizes, at 185 and 200 centimeters in length. It definitely fits two pairs of skis. The polyester fabric is thick and durable, and I trust it to carry a weighted load. Unzip the bag and you’ll find three insulated pockets and dividers so you can keep your skis and poles organized with your outerwear and clothes. With urethane wheels and handles on each end, plus two straps that fit perfectly over a shoulder, there are a lot of options for carrying it. And that flexibility is nice, especially if you’re navigating a tight aisle on a European train or lugging it to the international terminal on the other side of the airport.

The only thing is that it’s easy to put too much in this bag and go over airplane weight limits. I usually carry my ski boots on, not only to save weight, but if your bag gets lost in transit, ski boots are the thing you’ll miss most.

Here’s the bottom line: The Dakine Concourse Double is like Mary Poppins’ bottomless carpetbag. Seriously, you can fit an intern inside it.

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VIDEO: Artsy Black & White Pow

Mateusz Kielpinski's view of the (black and) white room

Mateusz Kielpinski’s view of the (black and) white room.

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Stept Productions’ New Ski Film, Mutiny

Q&A with Nick Martini about this behind-the-scenes ski film

Stept Productions has just announced their latest ski film, Mutiny, which drops July 30. This urban ski flick was shot over 270 days across the U.S. I talked to Nick Martini, skier and co-founder of Stept Productions, to find out more about this raw movie that’s been four years in the making.

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Best Day Ever: Sierra Sleeper

Josh Daiek comes home to Kirkwood

Kirkwood-based Josh Daiek, who won the 2012 Freesking World Tour, spent most of this winter on the road. He was in France and Italy for the Freeride World Tour, and in B.C. filming with Salomon Freeski TV. He never unpacked his ski bag, and he was only back in Tahoe for a few days at a time. This is his best day of the year.

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Small Brand Shout-Out: Praxis Skis

Building quality freeride skis, one world champion at a time

Last year’s Freeride World Tour was a good one for Praxis skis. The tour featured six stops and on half of them the winner rode a pair of the company’s sticks.

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Red Mountain Going Grey

New chairlift to access 997 acres

Red Mountain in Rossland, B.C., broke ground for a new fixed-grip quad chairlift, which will start spinning next winter and will access 997 more acres of terrain—about the size of Mount Baker—making the resort one of the largest in North America.

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Sugar Bowl Expands Terrain

New chairlift opens up options for deep trees and backcountry access

Sugar Bowl Resort in Truckee, California broke ground this week on a new chairlift that will give skiers lift-served access to 1,000 feet of direct fall-line terrain through sheltered pow, cliffs, and deep trees. Sugar Bowl expects to open the Crow’s Peak chairlift as soon as next season.

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Great Moments in Skiing: Candide’s Superpark Cork 5

Great Moments in Skiing is a semi-regular blog based on the endlessly rich well of YouTube content.

At Superpark 3 in the spring of 2001, Candide Thovex was 18 years old. He showed up to Mammoth in a stacked field of athletes, but when he started sending the entire hip, everybody else stopped to watch. That’s when he threw the 110-foot cork 5 tail grab heard ’round the world.

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Junk in the Truck: Patagonia Down Sweater

If you live in a ski town, you probably own this already

On the coldest of storm days, the Patagonia Down Sweater is an ideal layer underneath my shell. It’s quilted with 800-fill-power European goose down, which is why this jacket is so dang warm.

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