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2017 Canadian Rockies Landscape Photography Expedition

July 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


I’m looking forward to a month long Canadian Rockies landscape photography “expedition”, which I have been planning since December, and doing hill-training since April.


The basic itinerary:


  • Scenic flight of the Purcell Mountains doing open-window aerial photography
  • 3 days day-hiking in Kananaskis Country
  • Backpacking: 4 Trips
    • Brazeau (Jasper NP): 5 days, 4 nights.  Tent
    • Egypt Lake (Banff NP): 4 days, 3 nights.  Tent.
    • Berg Lake (Mt. Robson PP): 4 days, 3 nights.  Tent
    • Tonquin (Jasper NP): 4 days, 3 nights.  ACC Cabin
  • Day-hikes in Jasper NP, and reprovisioning / recuperation days in Jasper town in between backpacking trips
  • 3-4 full nights astrophotography


For the first time, prior to one of these expeditions, I’ve done hill training.  I've done up to 2300’, 6.5 miles with a 33 lb backpack in as little as 3 hours.  My biggest day should be 2800’, 13 miles, with a 35 lb backpack.  Now that I am in my mid-50s, my legs were telling I could not just “get up and go” as I have done in the past.  I tend to do photography extensively on the trail, so 13 miles can take 9-12 hours with all the stop-and-go. 



I did a similar Canadian Rockies expedition in 2014, with Kathy joining me for part of that trip.  This time will simply be different locations, different trails.



I have done Berg Lake before, but am going back because on my first trip, it rained most of the time and the cloud ceiling was low.  I am hoping for better weather this time.   



I will be on my own the entire time.  There are risks, as there always are.  Chief risks on my mind are falling, wildfires, lightning strikes, drowning, and grizzlies.  I’ll do my best to manage them.  Last year in Denali was the first year I started taking bear spray and a Delorme emergency personal locator beacon.  I will be doing so again on this trip.    These trips do wear me down physically.  I'll do as much as I can.



I'm ratcheting down my solo backpacking no-go and bug-out criteria: If there are nearby wildfires or smoke from distant wildfires (shuts down my photography), or forecasted lightning storms or high rains for any given backpacking trip, I won't go or I will bug-out.


Right now, the Egypt Lake backcountry is closed due to a nearby wildfire.  It looks to be a challenging summer for landscape photography due to the many British Columbia wildfires.


Kolor stitching | 6 pictures | Size: 20258 x 7798 | Lens: Standard | RMS: 3.36 | FOV: 156.91 x 55.21 ~ -4.51 | Projection: Cylindrical | Color: LDR |


If all goes well, I hope to return with hundreds of beautiful photos of Canada’s magnificent landscapes.


Wish me Godspeed.





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