the dan milner photography blog: tales of an adventuring photo chimp

March 11, 2013

Hitting the Dolomites for Transworld

Ok stop pestering me. Yep, thought I’d share a taste of what the Dolomites dealt us over the last couple of weeks shooting a story for Transworld Snowboarding mag.

Milner_Dolo013_0766

Forrest Shearer visits the Gelateria. Chocolate sprinkles come free. Nikon D3s, 24-70 2.8 @ 1/1600, f 7.1 ISO 200.

Bundle together a Brit photographer (me), 1 jet-lagged American writer, 2 American pro-riders (Forrest Shearer and Blair Habernicht) each looking for different attractions the mountainscape can deliver, 1 American filmer with the biggest backpack of gear I have ever seen, and a lively, smiling Italian rider (Luca Pandolfi) used to riding crevasse-strewn Mont Blanc in the dark with his eyes closed and what do you get? Hmmm, an interesting trip indeed.

So the last 2 weeks of Dolomites wasn’t without its moments, but after an initial 4 days of stormy weather that left us with over 1m of new snow, the Italian sunshine made a slow but steady re-appearance.  Working the backcountry is never a walk in the park. Avalanche conditions, rapidly changing light and just simple access issues can make an idea become plain frustrating work. And for everyone but the smiling Italian, the Dolomites was new terrain (at least in winter), meaning a fresh set of perspectives to learn. Q. How big is that couloir? (A. 900m). Q. what aspect is that face? (A. South so the snow will be f*cked by now) Q. Will that one ever get light? (A. don’t think so) Q. How long will it take to get in there on a splitboard? (A. How much time do we have?) Q. How deep is the snow over theses very pointy sharp rocks ? (A. Not as deep as we’d like) Questions, questions.

Yep, we missed a couple of epic shots due to lagging at times (just a reason to go back next year though right?) but we nailed some bangers too. From my previous bike and TNF trail running shoots in the area, I know the Dolomites is one of the most spectacular mountain ranges on Earth, and hitting it in winter just re-affirmed the belief.

Blair Habernicht has meatballs. Nikon D3s, 70-200 2.8 @1/1600, f 7.1 ISO 2

Blair Habernicht has meatballs. Nikon D3s, 70-200 2.8 @1/1600, f 7.1 ISO 2

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