Recently had one of my photos published in New Zealand’s The Climber Magazine, from an epic mountaineering adventure in Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park a few months back. Came down three days later with some of my favourite shots in my career so far, so I’m stoked to have at least this one shared with a larger audience.
Some people travel there to look at it, some people go there to climb it.
It makes me sad to see how poor the quality of my photos came out from that beautiful morning, but some things had to be sacrifised in order for me to make it back home and to work in time for my evening shift that same day. Ironically we bumped into John Price, a great local climbing photographer on our way rushing down and the shots he has shared after show the true beauty of this easy but stunning climb. However, I think this photo that I snapped of my awesome climbing buddy Jess still gives an idea of what if feels like climbing right next to a thundering waterfall as the sun slowly rises above the mountains surrounding you.
Just the fact that something like this can be combined with work the same day says something about what an epic place this is to call home.
When I drove though the heart of the Canadian Rockies on my birthday, 1,5 years ago, and saw Castle Mountain rise beside the road in Banff National Park for the first time, I fell in love. It sometimes makes me wonder how many car accidents are actually caused by the simple beauty of these mountains…
I love September. The air, the light, the temperature. Just what I was designed for. What better way to enjoy this month than being taught how to multi-pitch climb under a big, blue, beautiful sky, surrounded by snow covered peaks? If I could marry a country I’d be very likely to pick Canada, holy shit I love it here.
Not long ago I witnessed what must have been the most mesmerizing moonrise in my entire life. I had just finished off (I thought) one busy evening chasing the light along highway 93 between Lake Louise and Jasper when I turned left and drove down towards the lodge next to Bow Lake.
I literally screamed out loud in a mix of amazement, happiness, panic and excitement when I saw what was about to happen. The full moon rising behind this purple tinted peak of the Rockies as the sun splashed its last bit of light on it.
Spending one night simply observing the Milkyway while your camera is processing one long exposure shot after the other, certainly leaves room for many interesting thoughts to pass through your head. I love stargazing and if it wasn’t for the fact that I fear being eaten by a mountain lion I would spend every night out there, just philosophsing about me versus the universe and life on planet Earth in general…
Happy enough to call this place my home again. The Rocky Mountain Buffalo Ranch, 10 minutes north west of Golden, BC. I spent about a month here last fall and totally fell in love with the place, like basically everyone else that has passed through over the years. It’s a magical piece of property, surrounded by beautiful mountains in almost every direction. I sleep in a screened in porch on one end of the house in the photo below. No electricity there, so I light the room with candles and fall asleep with my eyes resting on the mountain peaks, while listening to the sound of the nearby river flowing by.
Tomorrow I will get on the bike and explore some more of the tracks up along the river delta. I love my life.
After eventually leaving Cuenca behind I found myself on a bus towards Ambato, and died a little from looking through my window (bonito). Approximately 3249 times I felt like just grabbing my backpack, jump off the bus and start walking instead, to be able to take in more. In Ambato some excellent Ecuadorian hospitality was waiting for me though, so I resisted… Even though Ecuadorians tend not to take time too seriously, I figured arriving five weeks too late would have been a bit rude.
Hungry lama in Ambato
Locals know the best – Julio introducing me to some Ecuadorian yummies.
Next I was off to Baños, a small town tucked in between high green hills, at the foot of the big Tunguranghua volcano. This place draws a lot of tourists due to its reputation of being Ecuador’s adventure destination number one. I mostly drank (real!) coffee though, except from flying around on a mountain bike one afternoon, and spent the nights clubbing with new found friends. Good fun.
Above: my bike two seconds before the wind caught it, threw it off the edge and messed up the back wheel. I got to experience the hard way that if you have a problem it really is your problem on the road between Baños and Puyo. Not like the good old days back in Australia when all you had to do was to step out of your vehicle, look generally blond and helpless and have a handy man standing next to you within five minutes, eager to show off his skills. This time I was alone!!! I figured it out though, for those who wonder, eventually : )
There was a big parade one of the days, to celebrate the anniversary of the city. It turned the place into a temporary ghost town, except from where the action was at the moment.
It started to rain through the sun as these crazy dancers passed me, it’s all about timing, ey?