An excerpt from a brief Winterton interview in Freeze 10/02/2003:
"Photographer Jeff Winterton stubbornly refuses to believe that contributing to the professional freeskiing scene means taking up residence in Mammoth, Whistler, Lake Tahoe, or some other so-called "mecca." For nearly two decades, Winterton has held it down in New England, helping young talent make a living skiing backward.
The parks back east are slowly reaching the level of the good parks out west. If you could assemble a park with features from parks throughout the Northeast, what would it look like? Park designers back here are starting to pull ideas from out west. Mount Snow's got the best flow from top to bottom, and they had a 60-foot hip that you pretty much had to be pro to hit. The halfpipe would be from Okemo and kickers from Stratton. Mountain Creek in New Jersey probably has the best rails in the East.
New Jersey? That's a joke, right?
No, the rails are designed by Kurt Heine. They're the same rails you would find at Mt. Hood or Timberline or wherever. Mountain Creek just decided to invest in them.
We're still talking about New Jersey here. Do people actually ski there?
Funny story: Kurt Heine was in Jersey filming with some pro snowboarders when this local dirty-hippie park-ranger guy comes in on his skis and cleans this 40-foot full-on bend rail. Just gnarly. The snowboarders were only making it, like, half the way. It was embarrassing. Then the guy came back, I took my camera out, and after a few more tries, he killed it again. Then he told me his brother could go switch on to 270 off. It was ridiculous. The kids all do it there.
There are a few blue-chippers emerging from the youth ranks. Who
Liam Downey, hands down, is leading the pack at this point. He's a Vermont kid who won every competition he entered this season with the exception of the (Vermont Championships), where Dave Crichton edged him out by a point. He's got the full bag of tricks, and he makes being six-foot, five look stylish, which isn't easy to do. Charles Gagnier is a Quebec kid, part of the Les Relais Crew with the Phils and Iannick B. Another one with a ton of potential is Shawn Logan, who's a product of Mount Snow Academy.
Many kids who grow up on the
Right Coast move out west for more exposure. Can an aspiring skier
truly make a living by crafting his trade east of the Mississippi?
My answer to that question is different than you might expect, because I've helped expose some kids back here who might never have had the opportunity. Dave Crichton, Simon Dumont, and Scott Hibbert are all guys who have built their names without moving away. Some of the older guys, like Mike Nick and Iannick B. are even moving back to hype themselves from the East Coast. If you want to devote your life to skiing, it's not the best thing to stay back here. But if you're looking to get exposure and are able to travel out west and hit the national competition scene, then living here doesn't hurt you at all. FREEZE and other magazines have showcased East Coast talent in the last few years, and that isn't going to stop."