The Ace Kvale Retrospective
Photographer and freeskier Ace Kvale was a member of the legendary Clambin Crew, based out of Verbier in the early 80’s. He, along with Marko Shapiro and John Falkner, were some of the most influential photographers during that period, a moment in skiing history when freeriding was in its infancy and the future was a bright limitless dot on the horizon, growing bigger every day.
“It was a magical period,” recalls Kvale. “We had an incredible influx of talent coming through Verbier, World Cup athletes, the best freestyle skiers and other guys and the sky was the limit.”
“The photography emanating from Clambin diverged from the usual stifled European and North American fare in both style and content,” states veteran ski industry journalist Leslie Anthony in his book White Planet: A mad Dash through Modern Global Ski Culture. “It featured big in-your-face action, bold lines, wild air, exploding powder, jaw-dropping vistas of high-alpine ski touring, and the cultural exotica of mountain adventure in places as far-flung as Russia, New Zealand and India.”
“That skiing could take you to distant lands was a revelation that had changed many lives, including my own,” admits Anthony.
“We had Clambin for 15 years and we were perhaps the first sponsored professional freeskiers,” adds Kvale. “We set the standard and helped launch the careers of people like Plake and Schmidt. We had great people around us.”
For Kvale, it’s a time that he perhaps didn’t appreciate enough when it was happening, but which in hindsight was a special moment, not only in his personal life, but also for the lives of those who happened to be involved in that blissful period as well as an important period in the history of the sport. These photos capture some of those moments, the beauty and madness of it all, but, says Kvale, there “zillions’ more images of the “glory days”. Perhaps in the future he’ll share some more of them with us.
Ace Kvale’s photography is a celebration of the human element—a study of rich cultures and extreme climates, a record of first ascents and descents. His images are powerful yet humble, and his passion for storytelling has translated into a remarkable talent for weaving a complete narrative through pictures. One of the world’s top adventure photographers, Ace has traveled to more than sixty countries, participated in twenty-five expeditions to Asia and the Himalaya and worked with many of the world's best athletes. Learn more at: http://www.acekvale.com