How Killington Makes Its Snow Assignment for The New York Times

In January I got a short email from Phaedra Brown, Photo Editor at The New York Times Travel Section, to ask whether I’d be available for a very visual assignment at Killington. Yes, I responded quickly! It had been a while since getting an assignment from the Times or The Travel Section. On a cloudy Tuesday I met up with writer Elisabeth Vincentelli at Killington. Morning fog made visibility very bad. I was not happy. We met Dave Lacombe, Snowsurface Manager at the resort, and got an inside view of the science and logistics of snowmaking and making skiers happy. I rode a snowmobile with Snowmaking Operations Foreman Greg Gleason and got a closeup view of snowmaking guns blasting snow on trails and skiers and into my face and lens. The weather never cleared up. In the late afternoon I launched my drone from the parking lot for an overview photo of the mountain with a hint of sunlight in the clouds. That ran as the biggest photo. At twilight we rode with Snowcat Operators Brett Frazier and John Marotti who groomed the trails into fresh corduroy for the next morning’s runs. Indeed they are snow farmers, working through the night to make all this possible. The weather conditions were less than ideal, but I filed the pictures and hoped for the best. A month or so later, The New York Times ran twenty photos in an online slideshow and eleven photos in a full page spread in the Sunday Travel Section. Here’s the online version: