ARC’TERYX Deep Winter Photo Challenge Returns as Marquee Event January 15

WHISTLER, BC, January 4, 2011 – January in Whistler is storm season, which means plenty of snow and deep powder days on the mountains. The GORE-TEX Deep Winter Experience celebrates storm season with clinics, ski and snowboard camps and discounts on outerwear. For the fifth year in a row the ARC’TERYX Deep Winter Photo Challenge pays homage to this sacred occasion and the skiers, riders and photographers who cherish it.

“As Deep Winter enters its fifth year of competition, it continues to be an important event in Whistler. It is a celebration for the locals who are passionate about Whistler Blackcomb and skiing, regardless of the weather,” says photography veteran and former King of Storms, Paul Morrison. “From the beginning, the venue has been sold out and the competition impressive. This year's event will be another memorable celebration of the people and their passions who add to soul to Whistler.”

During the Deep Winter Photo Challenge, professional photographers shoot in-bounds at Whistler Blackcomb for three days capturing athletes in their natural mountain habitat of powder filled bowls, trees, and après bars. This year’s contenders are: 10-year veteran, Ilja Herb; accomplished snowboard photographer, Tim Zimmerman; Whistler local, Blake Jorgenson; outdoor lifestyle photographer, Robin O’Neill; Snowboard Canada Photo Editor, John Scarth; and up and comer, Andrew Strain. Their edited slideshows will be played in front of a live audience at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and judged by a panel of industry professionals. A prize purse of $6,000 and the title of “King/Queen of Storms” are up for grabs.

“Deep Winter is all about showing images from the often untold side of winter,” says professional skier, Mike Douglas. “We get a lot of snow in Whistler and it's interesting to get out there and document the stormiest days. Shooting in stormy weather is way more work for both the photographers and athletes, but it's also really rewarding to see what you can produce in just three days”.

Tickets for the ARC’TERYX Deep Winter Photo Challenge are $17 and are available at any Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations location or by calling 1-800-766-0449. Doors are at 7pm and the slideshows start at 8pm with an after-party at Merlin’s Bar in the Upper Village.

The Deep Winter Photo Challenge is the pinnacle event of the GORE-TEX Deep Winter Experience, which runs January 8 to 16 and features Deep Winter ski and snowboard clinics from Extremely Canadian, avalanche awareness tours, and discounts on GORE-TEX outerwear. More information about the Deep Winter Experience can be found at whistlerblackcomb.com/deepwinter.

Other featured events of the GORE-TEX Deep Winter Experience include:

Extremely Canadian “Deep Winter” Clinics

2 Day Clinics- January 8-9, 10-11, 13-14

Whistler’s finest Ski Pro’s with their extensive knowledge of Whistler and Blackcomb’s best “off-piste’ terrain, guide guests through some of North America’s wildest in-bounds terrain. Visit http://www.extremelycanadian.com or call Snow School Sales at 1.800.766.0449 for more information and registration details.

Super Demo Days

Saturday January 15-16

Guests are invited to test drive skis and snowboards at the Showcase and CAN-SKI Demo Centres located outside the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain and the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain.

Roxy All Star Snow Camps

January 8-9

Roxy All Star Snow Camps are available to women only and accommodate all types of riding from beginner to expert and those who like to dabble in park. The camps offer coaching from top level female skiers and riders. Visit http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/roxy or call Snow School Sales at 1.800.766.0449 for more information and registration details.

Shop and Save

30% Off any Windstopper Outerwear Piece

30% Off any GORE TEX® Footwear

Valid at: Salomon Store, The North Face Store, CAN-SKI and Showcase

Offer Valid January 8-16, 2011

Not valid on sale items or in conjunction with any other offers or discounts.

To connect with the Deep Winter Photo Challenge online and for a chance to win tickets, check out Whistler Blackcomb’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/whistlerblackcomb and follow @WhistlerBlckcmb on Twitter.

Guests who want to celebrate storm season can book a three-night, two-day ski & stay package for just $113 per person per night. Visit http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com or call 1.888.403.4727 for more information.

About Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America’s premier four season mountain resort, Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which combined offer over 200 marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 14 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receives on average over 1,090 centimetres (430 inches) of snow annually, and one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. For more information, visit whistlerblackcomb.com