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“The challenges of crafting multimedia to complement a text-based story were the same challenges faced in any storytelling endeavor. We focused on the pacing, narrative tension and story arc—all while ensuring that each element gave the user a different experience of the story.”
Catherine Spangler, Snow Fall Video Journalist, in OpenNews.org
Snow Fall recounts the harrowing story of a backcountry ski trip turned search-and-rescue mission. In 2012, a team of some of the world’s leading backcountry skiers and snowboarders decided to take a run down Tunnel Creek, a section of Washington’s Stevens Pass ski area. When an avalanche struck without warning, some members of the group were swept away, leaving the rest in a race against the clock to find them.
New York Times feature writer John Branch delved deep into this story, interviewing survivors, witnesses, experts, and other members of the backcountry community to give an emotional account of precisely what went wrong on the Tunnel Creek run. The gripping narrative is expanded through video interviews, beautiful graphics, and survivors’ footage of the actual event, which unfolds in a dynamic flow as readers scroll through this six-part series. Hailed by some as the project that saved journalism, Snow Fall‘s story and approach gripped the imaginations of readers across the country.