The best pho­tog­ra­phers know how to spot an un­ex­pected—but pic­ture-per­fect—photo op, plus a be­hind-the-scenes peek into one of our fa­vorite seg­ments from War­ren Miller Entertainment’s Face of Win­ter, drop­ping this month.

The south-fac­ing re­sort of La Rosière in the French Alps is known for its fam­ily-friendly ter­rain, but the same can’t be said of its sur­round­ing peaks. On their first day, pho­tog­ra­pher Adam Clark and skier Sam Smoothy headed be­yond the re­sort boundary into the ex­pan­sive back­coun­try that butts up against the Ital­ian bor­der. “We were plan­ning to go to a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion, but this wall of beau­ti­ful lines showed up after we hiked over a ridge,” says Clark. The two al­tered their plans and de­cided to ex­plore this serendip­i­tous new ter­rain, with Smoothy boot­pack­ing up the line and send­ing it down the ridge. “This spot was pro­tected from the wind and held some great pow­der,” says Clark. “It was a won­der­ful sur­prise.”

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II body, Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens @ f/9, 1/1250sec, ISO 200

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