Sammy Carlson opts out of WXE

Matt Morning/ESPN Images

You won't see this face at Winter X Europe next week. He'll be skiing powder instead.

What would you do if you won a Winter X gold medal? Sammy Carlson has had plenty of time to think about that. The reigning slope champ had been on the slope podium three times before he finally cracked the top this year.

Now that he's got that elusive first win under his belt, he's rewarding himself with a break from competition — starting with Winter X Europe, which he recently decided not to compete in. Instead he's staying in the Whistler area to ski backcountry terrain for Poor Boyz Productions' latest film.

"I want to film the best segment this year," Carlson said in a telegraph sent from an alpine boarding house, "and it has been going good sledding the past few weeks."

It's an unexpected decision from a skier favored to win the contest. Carlson admitted he's thought of that. "It kind of feels weird not doing Euro X," said Carlson. "But at the same time, I am stoked to get away from the scene and do my thing out here."

Carlson has given film projects high priority throughout his career. He released a personal movie project titled "Can't Stop" in 2009 with the help of the French film company Ride The Planets. In 2010, Carlson was the subject of several ski major films, including "Revolver," for which he won Best Manmade Air at the Powder Video Awards.

All this video work means a demanding balance between competing and filming. But for Carlson, it's all part of the plan. "I always told myself that when I won X I would put together the best pow segment I could," he said, "show people I got this any way they want it."

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