WHISTLER BLACKCOMB’S DEEP WINTER PHOTO CHALLENGE JANUARY 5Paul Morrison back to defend “King of Storms” title against five of the ski and board industry’s best photographers WHISTLER, BC, December 27, 2007 – In Whistler January is a sacred month for locals and snow chasers alike.  Intense weather systems routinely pelt the Coast Mountain Range leaving behind a bounty of powder and glades swathed in the deep stuff.  Capturing the dance of a storm and the athletes who embrace it can be extremely difficult but highly awarding.  Just ask Paul Morrison.  “More than any other North American ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb offers endless challenges and rewards. In my opinion, the 'Deep Winter Photo Challenge' personifies Whistler more than any other single event,” says Morrison. “To be returning with Mike Douglas as my teammate, and to be a part of the second edition of this event, is the highlight of the winter for me.” The 2nd Annual Deep Winter Photo Challenge presented by ARC’TERYX will take place January 5 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.  Last year’s event sold out quickly and with another strong roster of photographers competing and $10 tickets, this event will be another hot ticket for locals and guests of Whistler. The Photo Challenge features slideshows from six of skiing and snowboarding’s top photographers taken over three days at Whistler Blackcomb.  Their goal is to capture the essence of the mountains’ legendary winter storms and bring that to life in a slideshow presentation.  “At this time of the year the conditions align with imposing landscapes, dramatic clouds and deep snow. This journalistic competition assembles some of North America’s finest snow sports photographers and athletes to document riding in this incredible setting,” says John Irvine, Sports Marketing at ARC’TERYX.  “We respect the ability to thrive and innovate in these conditions. This event celebrates these photographer’s skills given the tricky weather and light. We’re really excited to see the work of these pros!” Contest participants include: Whistler ski photography legend and defender of the title King of Storms, Paul Morrison; long-time Whistler snowboard photographer, Dano Pendygrasse; Seattle-based up and comer, Ian Coble; Red Bull photographer Bryan Ralph; photographer of Skier Magazine’s first self portrait cover, Jordan Manley; and a snowboard photographer that works with over fifteen snowboard titles worldwide, Phil Tifo.  The six will compete for $4,500 in prize money and the right to boast the title ‘King of Storms.’  The slide show at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler on Saturday, January 5, will be followed by a party to mix and mingle with the photographers and athletes. Doors open at 7pm for a pre-show reception with the slideshow beginning at 8pm. Tickets for the event are $10 and can be purchased at any Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations location, the ARC’TERYX Factory Store in North Vancouver, or by calling 1-800-766-0449.  “After the success of last season’s Deep Winter Photo Challenge, we are looking forward to bringing the event back to an even bigger crowd,” says Michelle Leroux, Whistler Blackcomb Public Relations and Communications Manager “The stormy conditions that lay down all that snow are an intrinsic part of being on our mountains and having these talented photographers capture those scenes and present it to us is an intense experience. Last season’s event was so inspiring and special for locals and guests, I can’t wait to see what this year’s Deep Winter storm will bring.” Judges for the event include well-known professional Whistler snowsports photographer Eric Berger, Snowboard Canada’s photo editor and snowboard photographer Colin Adair, and ARC’TERYX’s Creative Director Tom Duguid. The Photo Challenge is a GORE-TEX Deep Winter Experience presented in partnership by ARC’TERYX and Whistler Blackcomb, along with sponsors Fairmont Chateau Whistler, and SKYY Vodka. Information about the Deep Winter Photo Challenge can be found at http://www.deepwinterphoto.com.  For more information on the GORE-TEX Deep Winter Experience line-up of events please visit http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/deepwinter.