Behind the Photo: Amusement Park by Mary Walsh
In Behind the Photo I'll be diving into the stories of how some of my favorite snowboard photos came to be.
Kimmy Fasani is an OG. She is one of the first big pro woman snowboarders who really helped carved and inspire the path for the next generation of women snowboarders. She was the first woman to do a double back flip and opened the door to push women progression. I looked up to her from the time I started snowboarding and had crossed paths with her a few times at different events.
In 2015 Kimmy hosted an event at Mammoth Mounatain called "Amusement Park." She invited some of the top women snowboarders to take part in a week long photo shoot that included sunset sessions and created a environment of progression and fun for the women involved.
I was living in Mammoth that season and saw when they built this channel jump for the event. It looked fun but was also a little intimidating. I really wanted to hit it but it was kept closed for the Amusement Park shoot. I approached Kimmy and told her I would love to join in on the sunset shoot they were doing that night. She was so nice and invited me in right away. We met at the lodge with all the girls around 4pm that evening and loaded into snowcats to head up the hill.
The snowcats drove us up to the middle of the park where the jump was built and the shred session started. Girls began hitting the jump and getting towed back up on a snowmobile. I hung out at the top and watched the other girls for a while to try and build my confidence. It was my 4th season snowboarding and I had already been through one knee surgery so I was a little wary of hitting a jump with consequences like this. Eventually I followed a couple of the other girls in to get a feel for the speed.
Finally it was time to hit the jump myself. I took a deep breath and dropped in. I soared through the air and made it to the landing without a hitch. The landing was pretty short and there was only about 15 feet of a run out before the big concrete deck area where everyone was sitting and watching. Basically as soon as you landed you had to throw a real aggressive 90 degree turn or land in the laps of the rest of the crew. I hit the jump again and again, each time landing at the bottom of the landing and narrowly missing the people watching as I dug into my toe edge to turn. But, because of the nature of this jump I figured it was better to err on the side of going too fast rather than not fast enough. Since I wasn't hitting the landing right where I wanted to, I decided to just keep it simple with some grabs and save spinning for another time and place.
As the sun began to set and cast a golden glow over the Minarets, Mary Walsh spotted me doing this seat belt grab. She had me sled up a few more times until she got the photo she wanted and this was the result. Ever since I laid eyes on this photo I was in love. It's definitely in my top 3 favorite shots of me snowboarding of all time. Something about the coloring and lighting just makes the photo look magical to me. The snow frosted mountains in the background and the golden clouds are a total dream landscape. Oh, and I look pretty cool too :P
This was really cool for me because the photo was featured on Snowboarder Magazine's website and on their facebook. I think it was the first time I got recognition from Snowboarder Mag so it was a pretty special experience.
Here are some more photos from Amusement Park!