Eric Bryant on Hanging Snowfield, Palisades- Squaw Valley USA
Eric Bryant on Hanging Snowfield, The Palisades

The Line of the Week

Squaw Valley USA

Hanging Snowfield

Who says Squaw Valley gets skied off fast on powder days? You just gotta relax and choose your lines carefully.

On a day like this when the snow is blower and the sun actually shines, it’s a work day for me. Luckily, work on pow days means I get to ski. Most of the time I make sure that I ski down first in order to get the “right”angle. This day was a totally different beast. Usually, shooting in bounds is a mess. There are people everywhere. Right when you finally find the perfect place to shoot some bro comes blasting through your perfect patch of pow and destroys the shot .This day was different. The pow was perfect, Squaw was buzzing and I was out with Eric Bryant. We had a shot list and it seemed that everywhere we went the masses were elsewhere. We shot “McConkey’s” and the masses were at Headwall. We shot “the Sister’s” and C2, the masses had moved on toward Granite. Then it was time for the Palisades.

Eric hiked up while I scoped the angle. As any Squaw photographer would do I decided to take a lap with a couple buddies. After all, it was going to take a few minutes for Eric to ride Siberia and hike the Palisades. While we we milking pow turns on Headwall and shooting pics of low angle pow my phone rang. Eric was already at the top. “Ooops”, I said. “Just loading the Headwall Chair now”. It was a minor white lie. We always tell our buddies we are loading the chair even if we are still getting face shots. The funny thing was that Eric was waiting above the Hanging Snowfield. He had never skied it and I’m sure that extra 20 minutes of sitting and thinking was good for him.

John Rockwood crushing pow at Squaw Valley

On the chair while shooting the shit, the guy next to me introduced himself. He was none other then Eric’s father. “Awesome!”, I thought. I am just about to photograph your son dropping a sweet line!” His response was something like, “As excited as I am for Eric and his amazing skiing, I can’t watch. I hope he’s safe.” I unloaded the chair and went to my location.

I phoned Eric to see if he was ready. Of course he was. It was the only line on the Palisades at this time of the day that looked untouched. Eric dropped in, took two turns and went full white room. I was blown away. I couldn’t even see him. Then all of a sudden in perfect form he blasted through the pow, amongst the slough, to an array of hoots, hollers and cheers. He stuck the landing, skied down to the bottom and that was that.

Eric Bryant stomping the landing

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The Line of the Week is a weekly photo piece by Ryan Salm featuring some of Tahoe’s finest athletes doing whatever we deem rad. We will be using the term “Line” loosely to describe anything resembling chutes, big airs, pointers or any general madness. All images are the property and copyright of Ryan Salm Photography. All images are only to be used in conjunction with the Line of the Week. Any other usage must be cleared in writing by Ryan Salm.

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