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Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: September 28, 11:57 AM ET
Deep winter in the Cascades

Walking back from night skiing at Stevens Pass, Washington.

Last winter was a season of feast or famine around the U.S. For those in the Rockies and the Sierra -- which typically get pounded by snow -- it seemed like storms were few and far between. But thanks to a La Niņa winter, last year the Pacific Northwest got more snow that it knew what to do with, with resorts like Mt. Baker, Wash., scoring over 800 inches of snow on the season.

For me, last winter offered some of the deeper shooting days I can recall in recent memory and the images in this collection pay tribute to those days. But with that deep snow and the unstable snowpack across the West, the avalanche danger was sky high and with that came great losses to Washington and ski communities around the world.

I don't mention these tragedies to cast a negative light on the upcoming winter. If anything, I mention to honor those friends we lost. Their memory is a reminder of why we all ski and why so many of us have dedicated our lives to the pursuit. Because the feeling of skiing a line with friends, smiling and enjoying the moment, is one of the greatest experiences we can encounter.

So with the winter of 2013 rapidly approaching, I'm beginning to turn my eye again to the mountains and to the Cascades in particular. The process of planning trips, laying out camera gear, tuning skis, seeing old friends and sharing laughs at the end of a deep powder day -- that is what I am looking forward to. I can't wait to have another winter full of those memories.