Photo: The left image (option one) was chosen for the January/February cover.

Let the landslide of responses begin. It doesn’t happen often — in fact, our publisher André Préfontaine regularly preaches following the popular vote in our online cover poll — but for this issue we decided to overrule the clear winner.

While option two was the public’s favourite, garnering 55 per cent of the tally, our editorial staff, including Préfontaine, vice-president of content creation Gilles Gagnier, creative director Suzanne Morin, photo editor Laura Stanley and senior editor Aaron Kylie, unanimously agreed that option one (38 per cent of votes) was the best image. (Option three was a long-distance third with just seven per cent.)

We all agreed that option two had too much of a blue tint and that option one had much better contrast and was overall a better image, with superior framing and colour tones.

Who was right and who was wrong will be decided at the newsstands. Will there be an avalanche of sales, or will they be frozen to the shelves? Time will tell.

If you don’t already receive our cover vote email but want to, sign up for the Canadian Geographic newsletter. And be sure to pick up a copy of the January/February 2014 issue of Canadian Geographic if you’re not already a subscriber. It hits newsstands Jan. 6.