Local woman makes the cover of ‘Powder’ | SierraSun.com

Local woman makes the cover of ‘Powder’

Matt Riddle

Powder Magazine hasn’t had a woman on the cover in 10 years, but a Truckee local changed that.

Jamie Burge, of Truckee, was in Alaska for the Red Bull Snow Thrill for 10 days of big mountain skiing in May with Powder’s photo editor David Reddick when the shot was taken. She was one of three American skiers in the competition and Reddick was one of four American photographers with skiers and photographers from Canada, Sweden, France, Italy and Australia.

“It was Jamie’s first trip to Alaska, but you wouldn’t know that,” Reddick said in a Friday phone interview. “It looked like she spent five, six years skiing up there.”

The Red Bull Snow Thrill of Alaska is a voting competition for the best photo. Twelve skiers chose 12 photographers and paired up with that photographer. Burge chose Reddick. Now that the competition is over, you can vote for your favorite photos which are in this month’s Powder or online at http://www.redbullsnowthrillofalaska.com.

“It’s a total honor to be the first woman on the cover in 10 years,” Burge said.

Big mountain skiing wasn’t anything new to Burge, but Alaska was. Since taking second at a Kirkwood Big Mountain Extreme five years ago, she has been competing and expanding her horizons.

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“That got me into the world of extreme skiing in Valdez, Alaska,” she said.

“I definitely got a crash-course in transceivers, avalanche, slough, I got humbled.”

Burge is about as local as you can be.

“I started skiing when I was two at Northstar,” Burge said and she’s been there ever since.

She had her first role in a ski movie with “Butter,” where she did a backflip off of the Palisades at Squaw Valley. She then was in Global Storming, Chapter Three, Ski Movie and Frontline: Ski Movie 3 and three all-female skier movies with Empress, Our Turn and Hardly Angels.

The last female skier to get the cover was Sue Ryan in November 1992. Powder says it doesn’t discriminate, it just gets a lot of photos of male skiers. After editing the 100,000 photos or so submitted every year to the magazine, editor Steve Metcalf said the magazine holds onto 5 to 10 percent of the photos. Out of those photos, only 15 are of women.

“Powder has never drawn any lines between men and woman in terms of ability, we’re always dedicated to publishing the worlds greatest ski photos,” Metcalf said. “Sadly, we don’t get enough photos of women pushing the edge of the sport.”

Another factor is circulation. Powder’s readers are 91 percent male.

“We love to have the opportunity to put a woman on the cover, it’s just the matter of the photograph,” Reddick said. “Most pictures I get of women just quite can’t compete with the level of pictures of men.”

Burge is working on a health science degree at the University of Nevada and plans to graduate in May. Skiing in more competitions this year is also a big priority of hers.

“I just want to keep skiing and get exposure,” Burge said. “My (terrain) park skills need some improvement.”