Carl Skoog 1959 – 2005

Today is the five-year anniversary of Carl’s accident on the Argentinian mountain Cerro Mercedario.  Five years, and hardly a day goes by when I don’t think of him for some reason, whether it’s because I’m skiing, eating something tasty (and preferably free), shooting a photograph of a bird or whale using one of his lenses, or just appreciating the view.

I can still remember the exact day I first saw Carl.  It was during the Hemispheres contest, closing weekend of Mt. Baker Ski Area’s 1999-2000 season.  I remember riding up chair 8 and seeing someone crammed underneath the “Rockstar” cornice while people jumped over him.  Only later, during the after party for the contest, did I figure out it was Carl, that famous photographer whose photos I’d been admiring for many years.  I met some of the jumpers during the contest, and they introduced me to Carl.  The rest, as they say, is “history”. 

Here is a collection of some photographs from the trips we’ve taken:

Judging by my skis and what I’m wearing, this would have been spring 2000 or maybe 2001 at Mt. Baker.  This is the earliest Skoog shot of me that I can find.

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Somewhere in the Wallowas, spring 2002

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The next few are from a couple trips up to Washington Pass, WA.  One one side of the road is Liberty Bell, on the other side are the Whistler Peak couloirs.  We’d usually go here in the spring after the ski area closed.  These were maybe 2004?

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This sunny ridge at Mt. Baker has been photographed about a million times but it never gets old. 

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This is the famous “Rockstar” cornice at Mt. Baker.

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Somewhere on top of Shuksan Arm.

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This series is from Mt. Herman, near the Mt. Baker ski area.  I think these were from two different days in December 2003.

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In 2004, Bjarke Mogensen and I took a six-week ski roadtrip through WA, OR, CA, NV, UT, and ID.  We met Carl in UT and did some touring.

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The PNW had a bad season in 2005, so I convinced Carl to join me on a ski trip to Kashmir, India. 

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When we left India we spent a month traveling and skiing through Europe.  We hit the Dolomites, Swiss and French Alps, and the Pyrenees.

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Carl wasn’t just interested in skiing.  He liked nature in general, and visited me on San Juan Island so he could photograph my seabird and killer whale research.

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My sister took these two at a party at the USFS “Birdhouse” back in the summer of 2004.  That Black Butte porter was not his, but Carl is holding station above the burgers and salmon.  Since we didn’t have any furniture he’s sitting on my camera case, and in the background you can see the edge of one of his photographs of me that was published in “Off-Piste”.

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