David Stoecklein Gallerie


It was springtime in 1970s Utah, and the wildflowers were just starting to bloom when the general manager at Alta Ski Area, Onno Wieringa, ripped the only toilet from the floor of his little house. Lugging the porcelain throne up his ski hill, he met photographer David Stoecklein midmountain, and set his friend to work. Unfazed, Stoecklein staged what would become an enduring shot, sitting a third friend, a woman, on the toilet with her ski pants pulled down and ski boots on, facing the Mt. Superior-dominated horizon as her skis stood watch. A poster version of this moment is still on the wall in the Snowbird Ski Team locker room with the slogan, “Ski the Rockies, we have the runs!”

Then living at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT, Stoecklein was in the incipient stage of his photography career. Years later, before his untimely passing in 2014, he would capture some of the most iconic photographs in the American West—pensive images of cowboys and mustangs. But he began with carefully staged shots that codified the neon fluorescence and freedom of ’70s and ’80s skiing. A few years after the fateful shoot in the Alta grass, in 1979, he’d find his way to Sun Valley, ID, helping preserve a freestyle skiing revolution on film and changing the way professional photography was conducted in the mountains…

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