Cover Story: “The Spot”

Carolyn Stwertka. Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. [Photo] Tobias MacPhee

Carolyn Stwertka. Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. [Photo] Tobias MacPhee

“Carolyn and I always refer to that zone as “The Spot,” because I knew that if I could catch the perfect light, it would result in an amazing image. Weeks went by, and, finally, at the end of a three-day storm, we got our chance.

“People in Little Cottonwood Canyon refer to it as the four o’clock clear—it’s that moment when the storm finally breaks, and the light from the valley washes through the few lingering clouds.

“I had been watching the weather all day that day, hoping things would break up and we’d get the light. At about three, it seemed to be happening, so I called Carolyn and begged her to blow off work/school. (She was finishing up her Master’s).

“It all happened pretty fast from there. We ran up and got a couple quick laps before it was gone. It’s interesting to look back and think about all the work and preparation it took to capture one moment, and how that one moment will reach so many different people.” —Tobias MacPhee

 For more of Tobias MacPhee’s photography, visit

Related posts:


  1. I absolutely love and live by your Backcountry Gear test report. i read it all…including every profile of every skier. y’all do a great job covering all the physical “body types” of skiers to test gear. Your tallest skier was 6’3′; 200lbs’. your heaviest skier was 6’0″; 240lbs. i am submitting my application right now to be your big boy test driver. i am a bit of what you may call a “hefty” skier. At 6’4″ and 285lbs. i consider myself a well-above average skier. hard charging and hard on equipment. and yes, i haul my large ass into the backcountry. bootpacking and touring, i’m not afraid of torture. while i’m Certainly not the best skier or the most efficient backcountry guru you have ever seen. i hang with the best skiers on the mountain at whitefish mtn. resort which is known for having under the radar ripper’s and mountaineers. but to have test gear feedback from someone that ski’s hard and fits the “fatt boy” body type included in the test results is important. don’t discriminate . I want to know. the manufacturer’s absolutely need to know. and “big-bodied” skiers have to know what to purchase so their ski equipment doesn’t fail them. I’m mostly referring to bindings and boots, but i have demoed some skis that just can’t take a fatt boy like me. What do you say..I’m on gear test team for 2014-15???please say yes. don’t just tell me to loose weight. i tried. i can’t. i’m forever big. Just let me know when and where to show up. i will test the shit out of that ski gear. thank you and best regards. chuck

Speak Your Mind