The weather has been weird this winter. I'm sure I'm not the first to make note of this. So I've been spending less time thinking about snow than in past seasons. All that changed with the arrival of my brother, a decidedly keen adventurer. It didn't matter that the snow was sub-par. And it was an incredible bonus that the views were basically fantastic everywhere we went (backcountry near Kicking Horse, Jumbo Pass, and Rogers Pass). That's one upside to a winter without snow. Lots of blue skies.
Viewing entries in
The middle section of the Kicking Horse is meaty, a worthy foe for the advanced paddler. I went down to check it out with a couple of willing boaters one evening in August. The water was getting lower, which also meant it was getting greener, and the holes were getting stickier. These two lapped the section under the bridge for me, tromping up the tracks while I hoofed it over the highway bridge to get a new angle. Made me miss being on the water. The motive? To get the K postcard shot in the G is for Golden series. K, as you may have already put together, is for Kayak.
Last March I heard through the grapevine that a writer/skier team of chicas was looking for a last-minute photographer to join them on a mission that involved trains, sleds, and skis. This kind of gig, although not what I normally do, was entirely worth making myself available. I ventured off to Jasper to hop the VIA Rail with Brigid Mander and Molly Baker. We were let off the train at somewhere near mile marker 98, met by Kevin of Bearpaw Heli-Skiing. He lined us out with some sleds and led us to the tiny touring cabin he helped build back in the day. We spent a night under the roof of the snowed-in cabin and did some touring nearby. Saw wolverine tracks. Skied some powder.
When it was all said and done, Molly and Brigid continued on toward Smithers via train to meet up with their friend and wicked ski photographer, Re Wikstrom. I came home and promptly forgot to do much of anything with the photos from this first leg of their journey. Now that the snow is flying again, it seemed appropriate to sift through these shots.
That's Kevin sitting on the front porch of the cabin shortly after it was first built.
Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we head off to Arizona. I've spent a good bit of time in Arizona, the homeland of my fine father. But in all my time there, I've never so much as peered over the rim of the grandest of canyons. My time has come. Not only will I sneak a peek at this wonder of the world, I have the incredible fortune of spending three full weeks in the belly of the thing. Running the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. A trip of a lifetime. Or if you're Mike, a second trip of a lifetime. Here's a shot he took from his first venture down the river back in 2005.
We went. We were overwhelmed. We slowly adjusted to the mayhem, the dust, the community, the fun. We loved it.
Last week I had plans of catching up on some post-processing, website improvements, and generally a lot of time in front of the computer. A week in the relative darkness of my office, while the summer sun blazed happily outside. This is not what I love.
Then, out of the blue came an email asking me to take on a last minute project. I said yes. Enlisted my favorite assistant/chauffeur/model/husband, loaded up into the Westy, and hit the road. This is what I love.
We had what can only be described as a crazy list. We went from one national park to the next (Jasper to Banff to Yoho to Kootenay). We packed as many as four hikes into one day. We rose at sunrise for the shot. We set out on a new trail at 8pm for the shot. It felt very much like a treasure hunt, and it was both exhausting and exhilarating. It was exactly what the long days of summer beg for.
Here is a sampling of shots from the rather large collection of images we created last week. Huge props to modelo extremo, Mike Taylor.
The shot list included Boo at the Grizzly Refuge at Kicking Horse. We're more or less neighbors, but this was the first time I'd had a chance to hang out with this guy. So.Cool.
Johnston Canyon. This was one of several places that we would likely never have visited without the assignment. Too busy. Too much of a tourist destination. But the thing is, it's absolutely spectacular. There's a very good reason for so many people to be drawn to this (and many of the other) attractions in the parks. This is the kind of remote canyon access that I used to seek out in my kayak, but to be able to hang over the river on a sturdy walkway, in warm dry clothes, camera in hand . . . I was blown away.
The list brought us into the city for a brief visit. Parks are better.
No need for Mike to model at the back of the Lake. Plenty of photogenic talent around, like Ian Greant.