Sammy Carlson Scores Big at 17th Annual Powder Awards

Skiers flooded Breckenridge's Riverwalk Center on the eve of Dew Tour.

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Angel Collinson and Candide Thovex won the Powder Poll presented by Toyota awards on Thursday night to kick off the 17th annual Powder Awards as snow fell heavily outside of Breckenridge’s Riverwalk Center on the eve of the Dew Tour.

“I’m stoked to be a part of this tidal wave of women coming into their own power in the mountains,” Collinson said via a prepared statement (she also won the video award for Best Female Performance, for her part in the Teton Gravity Research epic Tight Loose). Thovex, there to claim his Powder Poll prize in person, was more subdued: “It means a lot to me.”

Alric Ljunghager won Photo of the Year for his image of Leo Bjorklund skiing in Sunnmøre, Norway, then auctioned a print off for $1,600 to benefit the High Fives Foundation’s adaptive sports program for athletes with disabilities.

Sammy Carlson emerged as the night’s biggest winner as the video awards were presented, with the Teton Gravity Research film The Sammy C Project propelling its star to wins in three different categories. Carlson won Best Air for the footage of his record-setting switch 540 off of the 24-story ski flying tower at Copper Peak in Michigan (364-foot vertical drop, no big deal), then followed it up with a Best Powder nod and the top honor for Best Male Performance.

“I’m so stoked to have the opportunity to continue pursuing what I love to do and escape all the craziness of the world,” Carlson said. “We’re so lucky to be skiers, to live our lives in the mountains… as it’s snowing outside I can’t help but be so stoked. I hope you all get the best powder turns of your life this year.”

Other honored athletes included Thayne Rich (Breakthrough Performance), JF Houle (Full Throttle and Best Jib, for his part in The Blank Collective’s film Canvas), and Ian McIntosh (Best Line, for his altogether sketchy line in Alaska from TGR’s Tight Loose).

“The other nominees were all super worthy lines – you guys all crushed it – so this means a lot to me,” McIntosh said in a video acceptance speech sent from Austria. “I want to put a toast out to keeping it loose tonight: this line for me was definitely on the loose end of the Tight Loose spectrum, and you know if I was there with you tonight I’d be getting loose, so I want you guys to all represent tonight and get crazy.”

John Shocklee: A Fairy Tale, from Talweg Production, won Best Short. Switchback Entertainment’s Guilt Trip won Best Documentary. Matchstick Productions’ Ruin and Rose won Best Cinematography, and Seeking Nirvana’s The Lucky Strike won Best Editing.

Denver-based Level 1 Productions took Movie of the Year honors, the final award of the night, for its film Pleasure.

“I feel majorly privileged to stand up in front of you all and accept what is a pretty huge pat on the back,” said Level 1 founder Josh Berman, who co-directed the film with Freedle Coty and Jonny Durst. Coty managed to get the last word in, as is his way: “Long live ski movies!” Visit Powder.com for more on the 2016/2017 Powder Awards winners.