Coast Mountains

How to tell if you’re hiking in the Coast Mountains trail of British Columbia:

  1. State of the art bridges over creek crossing
  2.  Deep mud with slippery logs and branches strategically placed for optimum ankle twisting

I actually love these types of trails, there’s a sense of  true wilderness about them, unlike some of the crowded super highway trails found in Washington and Oregon. These pics are from a few days ago during a visit to Marriott Basin in the Coast Mountains.

I have lots of new photos in the works from this and my previous trip to North Cascades National Park. Stay tuned you’re going to love them!!

Marriott Basin trail Coast Mountains trails British Columbia

 

Coast Mountains trails British Columbia

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Alaska British Columbia Yukon Photography Trip

Alaska British Columbia Yukon Photography Trip

I’m very excited to announce tentative plans for a major photography expedition to some of the wildest and most dramatic scenery in all of North America. This incredible photography adventure will begin in mid-July in the heart of the wild Coast Range of British Columbia, proceeding up to Alaska, and finishing in the Yukon Territory just before the autumn snows begin to fall. Anyone interested in joining in on the fun at any of these locations feel free to contact me, I’m always looking for extra company/models!

Photo Editors and Buyers: If any of these or nearby locations can be used in your future projects or articles please contact me to discuss your needs!

Here are the locations on the itinerary so far:
British Columbia:
Ape Lake Monarch Icefield

Alaska:
Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park / Skolai Pass; Ross Green Lake
Denali National Park (locations to be determined)

Yukon Territory:
Kluane National Park
Tombstone Territorial Park
Dempster Highway / Arctic Circle, Richardson Mountains

To give you an idea of what some of these locations look like check out the photos below. Some of the photos are not from the exact locations listed above but are very close approximations of the scenery.

Coast Range British Columbia:

Coast Range British Columbia, Alaska British Columbia Yukon Photography TripCoast Range British Columbia #18242

Coast Range British Columbia, Alaska British Columbia Yukon Photography TripCoast range British Columbia #18259

Alaska:

Mount Sanford Alaska, Alaska British Columbia Yukon Photography TripMount Sanford Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park  #14340

Wrangell Range Alaska, Alaska British Columbia Yukon Photography TripWrangell-Saint Elias National Park  #14340

Denali, Alaska British Columbia Yukon Photography TripDenali #144788

Yukon Territory:

Tombstone Territorial Park Yukon, Alaska British Columbia Yukon Photography TripTombstone Territorial Park Yukon #15502

Ogilvie Mountains Yukon, Alaska British Columbia Yukon Photography TripOgilvie Mountains Yukon Territory #15437

Alaska British Columbia Yukon Photography Trip

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Mount Robson

Mount Robson

Mount Robson sunrise, Canadian RockiesMount Robson #54614    Purchase

Here is another image from last September’s trip to Mount Robson in the Canadian Rockies, since this image has garnered an exceptionally favorable response on social media I felt that I should fill in a little background on how it was made. This was my third trip to Mount Robson Provincial Park and I had high hopes of getting some stunning images of the mountain from a few spots I had scouted out on the two previous trips. I had allocated five days to fulfill my goal, but by the third I was becoming frustrated by the lack of interesting light. The weather was spectacular, warm with blue skies, but while great for outdoor activities it didn’t possess the kind of light I had hoped for. Finally on the third morning clouds from an approaching storm arrived just as the sun was coming up, perfect timing and conditions to illuminate the sky and mountains in a warm glow, just what I wanted.

The image above was one of the first made as the sky warmed with a reddish magenta glow. I had thoroughly investigated this spot the day before to see where and how the best compositions lined up, I knew there were many possibilities for both horizontal and vertical images so I mentally took note on which were the best and planned the shoot accordingly if the light cooperated. This plan paid off the next morning as I knew there would be a limited amount of time before the light faded.

However but the time I had finished working this area the light was still going strong. About a half mile east along this basin there was another spot I planned on photographing in the evening or next morning. With the approaching weather I had a feeling there might not be another opportunity like this one so I gathered up my equipment and ran along the basin as fast I could and hastily set up my tripod. By this time most of the warm dawn glow had faded but the light was still intense on the clouds. The third image in this post  is one of the last I made that morning. During the entire shot I used a variety of gradual neutral density filters on lenses from 14mm to 55mm, the post processing was nothing more than adjusting levels and curves with some burning and dodging. I like to keep things on that end as simple and strait forward as possible.

Mount Robson Canadian RockiesMount Robson #54646    Purchase

The images appearing in this portfolio are available as a Fine Art Print and for commercial licensing. Click on the  image and then ADD TO CART to purchase.

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Canadian Rockies New Images

Canadian Rockies New Images

The Ramparts Jasper National Park Canadian Rockies New Images

Tonquin Valley, Jasper National Park Alberta #54753

Please take a few moments to view a selection of exciting new images from our recent photo shoots in the fabulous Canadian Rockies. This trip encompassed nearly a month of hiking and driving to some of the most scenic areas of this majestic mountain range.

Locations included in this portfolio are:
  • Mount Robson Provincial Park
  • Tonquin valley of Jasper National Park
  • Lake Louise and Vermilion Lakes of Banff National Park
  • Floe Lake along the Rockwall of Kootenay National Park
  • Burstall Pass and Kananaskis Lakes of Kananaskis Country Alberta

Click here to view the portfolio

The images appearing in this portfolio are available as a Fine Art Print and for commercial licensing. Click on the  image and then ADD TO CART to purchase.

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Canadian Rockies

Canadian Rockies

Mount Robson sunrise, Canadian Rockies

Mount Robson #54618   Purchase

Last Wednesday I returned from nearly four weeks on the road and in the backcountry of the Canadian Rockies. I’m definitely glad to be back home in a warm soft bed! There is a lot of business to catch up on aside from editing and processing all the new images. It may be a week or two before they are all done and ready to view. In the meantime please enjoy this view of Mount Robson at sunrise, one of the highlights from the trip.

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British Columbia Photography Destinations

British Columbia Photography Destinations

Postponed due to wild fires and wide spread smoke

Mount Robson British Columbia #45587 British Columbia Photography DestinationsMount Robson #45587

Beginning on July 14 I will be on location in British Columbia photographing a number of outstanding areas of scenic splendor.

I’ve been traveling and photographing in this beautiful province for nearly 15 years and I never get tired of the scenery. On nearly every trip I try and visit somewhere new, whether it’s in the Rockies, Purcells, Selkirks or Coast Range. During this trip I will be checking out two new areas that have been on my list for several years, Kakwa Provincial Park in the Rockies and a remote wilderness ice-field in the Coast range near Bella Coola. Below is the list of locations I plan to visit.

If you have any interest or photo requests from any of these areas please contact us. Coleen will be in the office during my absence relaying updates and requests to me.

 

The image of Mount Robson in this post is available as a Fine Art Print and for commercial licensing. Click on the  image and then ADD TO CART to purchase.

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Athelney Pass Coast Range British Columbia

Athelney Pass Coast Range British Columbia

This article was originally posted back in August of 2008. Since my main summer photography trip for 2014 will be an extended visit to several very remote and seldom visited areas in British Columbia, I felt it appropriate to bring this one back to light. To date this trip to the Athelney Pass Coast Range British Columbia was one of my favorite and exciting in recent years. Despite an abundance of National Parks and Wilderness Areas in the Pacific Northwest, it is getting harder every year to find a place to visit and photograph that is relatively unknown and has a truly remote wilderness feel to it. The Athelney Pass/Salal Creek area fits the bill in all aspects, even though it has no wilderness park or protected area designation.

Begin original 2008 post:

Coast Range British Columbia Icemaker Mountain #18242 Athelney Pass Coast Range British ColumbiaMount Ethelweard and  Icemaker Mountain and Glacier seen from Ochre Mountain #18242   Purchase

For the last six days I’ve been working on editing all the new images from my recent trip to Athelney Pass in British Columbia’s Coast Range. This trip was one of the best and most productive amongst a string of excellent photo trips in 2008. So it’s worth adding a few words and pics about it. I was vaguely aware of this area until early last month while researching nearby Coast Mountain routes and trails on the web. It only took seeing a couple of photos on Google to convince me to make a trip there.

Researching Athelney Pass in a couple of guidebooks revealed that it wasn’t too far away. Just a 4-5 hours drive north from Bellingham. I felt four-six days would provide ample time for exploration and photography. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) there is no formal trail leading into this rugged wilderness. Meaning that while the hike to Athelney Pass is only a modest 8-10 or so miles in length and 2200 feet elevation gain. However it felt like it was about twice that much.

There are several sections requiring route-finding in the forest. Along with a couple of torturous sections of bashing through thick nearly impenetrable slide alder. The rest of the route is “easy” hiking in open country along the river bank and steep loose glacial moraines. If your definition of easy is hiking for miles on unstable ankle breaking rocks the size of baseballs and bowling balls! All of this plus a lengthy logging road access meant that I had the whole area mostly to myself. I only saw one other person in six days and that was from a distance. The only other downside to this trip was encountering the discarded items from past mining exploration.  There is a derelict cabin rusting equipment, plus discarded barrels of fuel higher up the ridge.  (By 2014 all this may have been cleaned up since my 2008 visit)

As an added bit of excitement I came across a very large Grizzly Bear on the road as I was driving out after the hike. I’ll never doubt the speed at which these animals can run. I was driving a gravel road when it burst out of the brush in front of my vehicle. It took off down the road at an accelerating speed before disappearing into the brush again.

So if you are looking for a new place to go hiking away from the crowds with a true feeling of raw wilderness, and don’t mind putting in the extra effort this area might be for you.

Athelney Pass British Columbia #19083 Athelney Pass Coast Range British ColumbiaPeaks of Boulder/Salal Divide near Athelney Pass #19083   Purchase

Athelney Pass British Columbia #18581 Athelney Pass Coast Range British ColumbiaPeaks of Boulder/Salal Divide from Ochre Mountain 18581   Purchase

Mount Ethelweard Coast Mountains British Columbia #18544 Athelney Pass Coast Range British ColumbiaMount Ethelweard and  Icemaker Mountain #18544   Purchase

Salal Creek Coast Range British Columbia Canada #17885 Athelney Pass Coast Range British ColumbiaAnkle busting approach along upper Salal Creek route #17885  Purchase

Athelney Pass Mining British Columbia #17979 Athelney Pass Coast Range British ColumbiaDerelict mining cabin and equipment at Athelney Pass #17979   Purchase

All photos are available for purchasing as prints or for commercial licensing. Just click on the desired image and then click Add to Cart to select your option.

Thanks, and please share if you like it!

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2014 Audubon Calendars / More self-Promotion

I’m thrilled to announce that in 2014 three of my favorite images made in the past two years will be featured in the 2014 Audubon Wall and Engagement Calendars!

Limestone Lakes British Columbia #46245 2014 Audubon Calendars

Limestone Lakes British Columbia Canada 46245

This image was made a couple of years ago during one of the best backpacking trips in recent memory. A long difficult hike to a remote and unspoiled area of the Canadian Rockies, Limestone Lakes basin is set in Height-of-the-Rockies Provincial Park British Columbia. During my four day outing I had the entire area to myself while being treated to some exceptional landscapes and light.

Redwoods Coast of Northern California #44478 2014 Audubon Calendars

Redwoods Coast California 44478

The northernmost stretch of the California Coast offers some beautiful ocean vistas and coves along with expansive groves of Redwood trees. This image was made from Vista Point in DelNorte Redwoods State Park.

Balsamroot and Lupines, Dalles Mountain Ranch #77720 2014 Audubon Calendars

Wildflowers, Columbia River Gorge 47719

Last spring’s trip to the Columbia River Gorge yielded many great images of waterfalls and green forests along with spectacular displays of wildflowers along the Eastern half of the Gorge. This image was made at the Dalles Mountain Ranch State Park on the Washington side of the Gorge, a location I’ll be returning to again this May.

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Marriott Basin Coast Mountains Winter Photography

Winter sunset Coast Mountains British ColumbiaCoast Mountains Sunset British Columbia 50324

Yesterday I finished editing and uploading all the new images from my recent trip to Marriott Basin and the Wendy Thompson Hut in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. You can check out the portfolio here or see the entire edit at my stock website. As mentioned in earlier posts I was honored to be accompanied by Vancouver Photographer Adam Gibbs. I don’t know if Adam somehow brought along a good measure of luck but we enjoyed several outstanding displays of light during our stay which helped complement the dramatic backdrop of snow cloaked Coast Range.

Marriott Basin has been on my must visit winter list for a number of years now and has been routinely bumped due to various circumstances such as poor snow and weather conditions. When forecasts showed an extended period of stable weather following a series of snow storms I knew it was time to go and I rushed to reserve some spots in the hut. While I routinely use skis to access many winter backcountry locations I’m definitely not the most graceful or competent skier, especially when carrying a multi-day pack loaded down with camera gear! Fortunately there were several parties exiting the hut the day before we arrived and had a clear well packed trail to follow.

Wendy Thompson Hut located in Marriott Basin, Coast Mountains British ColumbiaWendy Thompson Hut Marriott Basin British Columbia 50424

After arriving at the hut settling in and quenching our thirst with some hot drinks it was time to scout out possible locations nearby that would afford good compositions for the evening and mornings. When we started out earlier in the day the sun was shining in a blue sky with a few wisps of high altitude clouds. However by the time we arrived at the hut the clouds had moved in turning the sky a solid grey despite forecasts to the contrary. Fortunately within a few minutes of checking out possible locations the sun broke briefly through the clouds to illuminate the peaks and we knew that it was time to get to work. I quickly managed to find a knoll close by that afforded an unobstructed view of the basin and peaks with some good foreground material to work with. After setting up the first few photos it became apparent that the clouds were beginning to dissipate to create all the elements for an epic sunset and alpenglow. I quickly got into the zone and worked hard at composing as many different images as possible. Considering all the cloudless smoke hazed locations I experienced last August and September this was payback time in a big way!

Winter sunset Coast Mountains British ColumbiaCoast Mountains alpenglow British Columbia 50321

Backcountry skier Coast Range B.C.Marriot Basin ski touring 50337

The next day Adam and I went on a short ski tour to explore the upper basins above the hut. Although the sky was mostly clear I managed to isolate several interesting images of sastrugi (wind blown snow patterns) along shadow edges. Later in the the day we were treated to another great display of light. The clouds on this evening appeared stacked in layers as the setting sun illuminated them. This time I worked mainly with short to medium telephoto compositions to close in on the clouds behind the ridges so as not to duplicate the wide angle photos from the first evening. The final morning Adam alerted me at daybreak of another epic display of light. Looking out from the hut the horizon was painted blood red. Rushing to get my gear together (I’m not a morning person) I scrambled to ski to the nearest location to compose some images and managed to shake the fog from my brain before the light quickly faded.

Backcountry skier Coast Range B.C.Upper Marriott Basin Coast Range British Columbia 50353

Winter Coast Mountains British ColumbiaUpper Marriott Basin Coast Range British Columbia 50356

Later that day upon returning to our vehicles we hoped the temperatures had stayed cold enough in the valleys to check out some interesting areas along the Birkenhead River. Fortunately the low angle of the sun in winter kept our subjects in a frosty shade. There were several great locations along the Birkenhead and Lillooet Rivers that had photogenic patterns of ice with the trees still covered in a thick layer of frost. This was was the cherry on top of a great trip and we unexpectedly came away with another group of great images.

Birkenhead River in winter British ColumbiaBirkenhead River British Columbia 50513

Birkenhead River British ColumbiaBirkenhead River British Columbia 50494

If you go, the hut and surrounding alpine terrain, where most of the best images are to be found, is a little less than 5 miles in with around 1600″ elevation to gain. The trailhead to the hut is at Cayoosh Pass about an hour northeast of Whistler. You must contact the ACC of Whistler to reserve a place for a nominal fee. In winter skis snowshoes or split-boards are your best options, skinny cross country skis are definitely not recommended.

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Coast Mountains Winter Sunset

Coast Mountains Winter Sunset Here is another image from last weeks trip to the Coast Mountains of British Columbia with +Adam Gibbs. After a moderately strenuous ski into the hut in Marriott Basin we settled in with some hot drinks and relaxation, the sky had turned cloudy and it looked like we might not get any photos that first night. However just before sunset the clouds began to thin and the sky filled with color. It was a mad dash on skis to find some spots which would offer good compositions.

For about forty five minutes or so the sky exploded in a vast array of colors and tones. Sometimes light would hit the distant peaks while other times they would be in shade and the clouds would reflect a warm glow similar to light on sandstone walls in the Southwest.

Winter sunset Coast Mountains British Columbia #50324 Coast Mountains Winter Sunset

Coast Mountains B.C. winter sunset 50324

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