Deep Winter Photo Challenge Recap

Six photographers. Three days. One King or Queen of Storms.

Whistler Blackcomb's Samsung Deep Winter Photo Challenge presented by Gore-Tex transpired last week in Whistler, B.C., and culminated on Saturday evening at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, where after three long and grueling days, the six competing photographers presented their slideshows to a capacity crowd of 1,100 people.

The shutterbugs in question (Ilanna Barkusky, Guy Fattal, Alric Ljunghager, Shannon Mahre, Michael Overbeck and Colin Wiseman) each had 72 hours (from Wednesday morning until Saturday morning) to shoot in-bounds on Whistler Blackcomb, and wowed the sold-out crowd with breathtaking slideshows that showcased the all-time conditions Whistler has been experiencing this winter.

In the end, Fattal, who was the only returning competitor (after having participated in the event for his first time last year), took home the title of "King of Storms" and $5,000, and etched his name into the hallways of history on the trophy alongside photography legends like Paul Morrison, Blake Jorgenson, Jordan Manley, Robin O'Neill and others. Hometown hero Overbeck (who has worked as an assistant on the event in years' past) scored second place and $2,500, while the impressively creative Ljunghager of the eclectic Scandinavian-based ski crew The Bunch rounded out the podium in third with $1,500.

Deep winter 2017 recap lifestyle
Alric Ljunghager (3rd), Guy Fattal (1st), Michael Overbeck (2nd). Photo by Jeff Schmuck

While the A-list panel of judges (which included a trio of iconic Whistler-based photographers, including the original "King of Storms" Paul Morrison, Eric Berger and Robin O'Neill, along with one of the most talented, respected and published snowboard photographers in history, Scott Serfas, and the Publisher and Photo Editor of Coast Mountain Culture and Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazines, Peter Moynes) have spoken, the contest is not officially over, as you now have the ability to decide the People's Choice Award. Each of the photographers have submitted their favourite image from the event to be voted on, with the winner receiving $1,000 and a trip for two with Whistler Heli-Skiing, while you will be entered for your chance to win gear from Atomic just for voting.

Voting is open until tomorrow (Tuesday, January 10th), so be sure to head on over to to cast your ballot.

Congrats to Fattal and all of this year's competitors for a job well done, and for more information on Deep Winter, check out the press release from Whistler Blackcomb below.

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2017 "King of Storms" Guy Fattal's submission for the People's Choice Award.

Online Voting for People’s Choice Open Until January 10, 2017

WHISTLER, BC January 8, 2017 – Returning competitor Guy Fattal was awarded the top prize in the 2017 Samsung Deep Winter Photo Challenge, presented by GORE-TEX® Products. Along with the ‘King of Storms’ title, Guy was awarded $5,000 for first place. The youngest participant in the competition, Whistler raised photographer Michael Overbeck, took home second place and $2,500. Alric Ljunghager rounded out the podium in third place winning $1,500.

 “It really is a dream come true to come back to this event and win,” said Guy Fattal, after being named ‘King of Storms’. “I have chosen to follow dreams which have taken me so far away from where I came from, it is so amazing.”

The Samsung Deep Winter Photo Challenge, presented by GORE-TEX® Products People’s Choice Award contest is now live at Each photographer has a Deep Winter image of their choosing posted to the site, and everyone is encouraged to vote for their favourite image. Voting will be open until 9pm January 10, and the photographer with the most votes at the end of the three days will win $1,000 and a trip with Whistler Heli Skiing.

This year’s competitors were:

Guy Fattal – An outdoor sports photographer born and raised in the hills close to Jerusalem in Israel, Guy first came to Canada last year to compete in the 10th Annual Deep Winter Photo Challenge. Guy has based himself out of Whistler for the 2016.17 winter season. 

Alric Ljunghager – A member of The Bunch ski crew, the Swedish photographer was just awarded Photo of the Year at the 17th Annual Powder Magazine Awards.

Colin Wiseman – Hailing from Hornby Island, BC, Colin now resides in Bellingham, WA where he serves as Content Director for an independent publishing company known as Funny Feelings LLC.

Shannon Mahre – Shannon is a photographer, writer and adventurer based out of the small eastern Washington town of Naches.

Michael Overbeck – A Whistler born adventure photographer whose work is focused on creating authentic and inspiring moments in remote regions around the world.

Ilanna Barkusky - Born and raised in Vancouver, Ilanna has been described as an 'up-and-comer in the world of ski photography' and 'one of five female ski photographers to follow' by Freeskier Magazine.

All six of the photographers had three days to shoot in-bounds at Whistler Blackcomb with their athlete teams and the final slideshows were played in front of a sold-out audience of 1,100 and five judges at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

The judging panel included Photo Editor at Coast Mountain Culture Magazine, Peter Moynes; veteran photographer, Eric Berger; former Queen of Storms and professional photographer, Robin O’Neill; senior Transworld Snowboard Magazine photographer Scott Serfas; and ski photography legend and the original King of Storms, Paul Morrison.

Guests looking to plan a trip to the consistently rated No. 1 Mountain Resort in North America can visit or call 1-888-403-4727.

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