Peter Schön

- Interview with me by Trevor Hunt: >> Coaststeepskier: Interview with Peter Schoen

- Voigtländer Medium Format Photographer: >> Voigtländer

My passion for photography started in the mountains. I am an avid ski mountaineer, with several ski descents of 5000 - 7000m peaks, among them some first descents, in the Andes, Pamir, Tien Shan and South Caucasus. In the recent years, capturing the aura of the mountains and the sport through photography became goal of each journey.
Several images of mine were published in the renowned climbing and skiing magazines Backcountry and Alpinist. I am also contributing photo author for Mountain.RU, the largest Russian-language mountain website. In 2009 I won the Niamori International Mountain Film festival in Tbilisi (Georgia) in the category Best Adventure Photo, and my photos were exhibited in various places in Georgia. Furthermore, my work is used by outdoor companies for advertisements, websites and catalogues.

While I started with mountain photography, I enjoy now several areas of photography. Four images of mine won Merit Awards in the 2012 and 2013 Single Image Contests of Black and White Magazine. I also work increasingly with the concept of photo stories, with one to three strong images and a short, strong text. This concept I will work on more in 2013.

Due to my frequent travels to the South Caucasus, I was increasingly confronted with the issue of displaced people and refugees from the conflicts in Abkhazia (1992-93), South Ossetia (1991-92 and 2008) and Nagorno-Karabakh (1988-1994), and I became very interested in those issues. Over time my second focus became a long-term photo project about refugees and displaced people in the South Caucasus. In autumn 2011 I completed photo projects for the Danish and Norwegian Refugee Councils about their work for internally displaced people (IDP) in Georgia, following the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. More recently I collaborated with UNHCR and Mission Armenia for a photo reportage about Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan (following the 1988-1994 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict), Iraq and Syria, and also with the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor (Armenia). The goal of this work is to give refugees and displaced people in the South Cacuasus - who amount to 1.4 million (1) - a face and to tell their story. A portfolio about this work was recently published in the German photo magazine PhotoKlassik (IV/2013).

I focus on black & white photography, and regionally on the Georgian and Armenian Caucasus. I use mostly black and white film in 35mm and medium format, but also work with digital. For absolute highest quality, I develop b/w film myself and have selected images scanned with Hasselblad Flextight X1.

I am currently based in Styria and Vienna (Austria), Tromsø (Norway) and in Tbilisi (Georgia). I am an avalanche technican/researcher and PhD student at the BOKU university in Vienna, and also work as ski guide in Northern Norway (see Professonal section below).

Contact: schoen_peter[at]gmx.at

- New! My Voigtländer Page
- Hilleberg Tents Pro Team page

For my ski mountaineering projects and expeditions, I am supported by:

- Elan Skis
- Garmont
- Hilleberg
- Malachowski
- Warmpeace
- Leki Austria
- Sterling Rope
- Julbo
- Swedeo
- Steiner-Optik Germany

Further support:
- Denk.com
- Highend-Scanervice.com (provides me with all my Hasselblad X1 scans)

(1) as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia conflicts; De Waal, T., 2010: The Caucasus – An Introduction. Oxford Press.


I am not a professional photographer. My professions are avalache/snow researcher, avalanche technician and ski guide.

Avalanche Technician | Ski Guiding :

My professions are avalanche/snow researcher, avalanche technician and ski guide. I have worked as ski guide in Canada, Japan and Norway, and was also part of the avalanche control of a Austrian ski resort for several seasons.Currently I am the lead ski guide on the Vulkana ("ski by boat") in North Norway, and one of the observers for the Norwegian avalanche forecasting system. Starting next winter, I am also responsible for the avalanche safety training of the Kazbegi Highway avalanche control team (road Tbilisi - Vladikavkaz).
Currently I am living in Vienna, working as researcher and PhD student at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, at the Institute of Mountain Risk Engineering, where I am working on a model for predicting wind-transport and deposition and of snow.

I have Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) Level 2 qualification and I am a CAA Professional Member. I am also currently in the Association of Canadian Mountain Guide Ski Guide Training Program. Additionally, I also have Canadian Wilderness First Responder qualification (100 hrs advanced first aid).

DGPS Surveying:

I conducted several DGPS surveys of - previously unmapped or inaccurately mapped - high and remote summits in the Andes and Caucasus.

2010: Shkhara, 5193 m (Svaneti, Caucasus, Georgia)
>> Article in Russian on Mountain.RU
>> Article in English on Mountain.RU
>> Wikipedia Reference
>> On Viewfinderpanoramas.com

2005: Cerro Pissis, 6793 m (Puna, Argentina; 2nd highest volcano in the world)
>> Article: Kirtland, S., Schön, P. and Bünnagel, M.: The Case of the Shrinking Volcano. Trimble Technology and
More, Issue 2008-1, p. 6-7
2005: Nevado de los Piuquenes 6025 m, (Andes, Central Chile/Argentina)
2004: Cerro del Plomo 5432 m (Andes, Central Chile)

B.A. Physical Geography | M.Sc. Earth Sciences:

My B.A degree in Physical Geography I received from Salzburg University. The focuses of my research there were avalanches and cartographic surveying, particularly the potential of remote sensing and GIS for avalanche risk management in high mountain regions of developing countries.

My MSc. degree I received in Earth Sciences from Simon Fraser University in Canada. My work focused on geology, geotechnics, slope stability and numerical modelling. During my M.Sc. research I investigated potential mechanisms responsible for several large landslides from The Barrier, a steep, 250 m-high escarpment of dacite in Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia (Canada). Methods that I applied include magnetic surveys to determine the three-dimensional character of lava flows forming The Barrier, long-range photogrammetry to map the structure of the escarpment in digital terrain models, field mapping, distinct element modelling, and passive seismic landslide monitoring. Of particular importance to the stability of The Barrier are ice-contact structures in the volcanic rocks, which provide clues about emplacement environments. Results show that The Barrier should be considered potentially unstable and that past instability is intimately linked to structures produced by emplacement of the lavas against glacier ice. My work also provides new geophysical and geomechanical data for The Barrier.

In Memoriam