I make no excuses for revisiting Kananaskis and the beautiful wind polished surface of the upper lake yet again. Cecil and I were out for our usual weekly photo tour and it was the first time he had seen the lake like this. We had a great afternoon chasing ice shots before going back to the lower lake for sunset. I found a few nice images today and had a great time out in the Canadian wilderness. On the way home we had to stop for a huge moose on the road then quickly stop again for 3 more (a 4 moose day is always a good day) As we got onto highway 40 we were stopped again by the local elk herd scattered around the highway in large numbers. Unfortunately darkness prevented us making any useful shots of the moose or elk but the sighting was the icing on the cake of another wonderful day in our favourite place.
With Sarah entertaining her team at our home this afternoon, I took the opportunity to chase an image I should have made on friday last week at lower kananaskis lake. There was a lovely long crack in the ice and I was sure I had captured it. When I got home I found I had not made the shot I wanted and it really bugged me, so, I loaded up and returned today to make the image. I had a little scoot around the upper lake too which is now frozen again with wonderful crystal clear ice that leaves you feeling like you are standing on water. The ice crack was now close to liquid water from the hydro power plant outlet but I managed to get down to it and make the image I was chasing (third from the end in the gallery below) I also made a landscape format shot of the crack to use as a main image for this post. The cold nights and warm winds are making for some very interesting ice on the upper lake and I think I might return there again very soon, perhaps even tomorrow.
It's that time of year again and we set off today for the Sibbald Creek area (off highway 68) to find our tree for the year. I had picked up a permit during the week for the princely sum of $5 so we were set for the day. It was a little disappointing that we didn't need the snow boots, or even our jackets as it was 15 degrees and warm as we wandered the woodland virtually snow free. We still really enjoyed the hunt as always, there's just something nice about heading out into the forest to cut your own tree.
This afternoon Cecil and I headed back to kananaskis, this time with Josh (who we met last week in Banff) I'd talked to Josh about sunset on the lower lake and he was keen to see it running along the ridgeline. Predictions were best for thursday so we met at the usual spot and hit the road at 11:30. We stopped here and there along the way, killing time and making a few images around the area until 3:30pm when we pulled into the car park at the lower lake. Loaded down with tripods and other gear we made our way down to the waters edge which was again frozen over.
Having picked our spot and set up we waited eagerly for the promised sunset to arrive. The research paid off around 4pm when the golden light finally made an appearance and 45 minutes later when the sun was gone and the light cloud shone pink in front of a perfect blue sky. I'm glad it paid off for Josh who put his trust in us to get the shots and was not disappointed. It was a great afternoon, really enjoyable and we all got some good shots to take home and brag about. The images are virtually all from the upper and lower lakes so I haven't captioned the gallery today, the main shot is one of the last of the day and perhaps one of the best.
Skies were perfectly clear today which isn't the best for landscape photography but I really wanted to get out and enjoy the warm weather while it lasted. For a change of scenery I decided to head to the 'South Ghost Wilderness' area quite close to home. After just an hour I was dropping down 'Big Hill' staring at the northern flanks of Mt Costigan ahead. I walked a few areas and made a few shots as usual and (for the first time) captured a sunset down there. I really needed more cloud to make the sunset work but it was interesting to see which of the mountains caught the sun and understand the future potential. All in all it was a nice afternoon in the beautiful open wilderness and some useful information gathered. The gallery below has captions showing which rocky lump is which.
The spring like weather continued today (as long as you stayed out of the wind) so I took full advantage of it by heading out to Banff National Park with Cecil to shoot around Lake Minnewanka and Vermillion Lake. The skies were clearer than yesterday with bright blue backgrounds behind large grey clouds. It was a great day roaming but would probably have felt better for Cec if he hadn't had his shoe sucked from his foot by the freezing mud of Vermillion Lake. I think it was made better by us watching another guy do the same, then as we laughed and talked with that guy another one came along and lost a shoe too (he was less amused and simply said "that's it for me tonight" and hobbled off the ice with one shoe on and just a sock on the other foot) Very entertaining for me, the only dry footed guy out of four.
The main shot below is of the sun striking the boathouse at Lake Minnewanka (now closed for winter) with Mt Inglismaldie behind. The gallery has simple captions just to show where the shots are taken.....11 different shots of the same mountain, is it overkill?
I spent the afternoon in Kananaskis today dodging winter snowstorms and trying to find a few images. The warm chinook winds are still here and liquid water has returned to many of the lakes. The wind has thrown the remaining ice onto the surrounding shores making for nice foreground elements. The main shot is of Mt Indefatigable from across Lower Kananaskis Lake, the gallery below begins with 7 shots from around Barrier Lake followed by 2 from highway 40, the rest are all from the lower lake during a brooding storm.
I made the 8 km round trip to Rawson lake today with strong winds really dragging the temperature down. I didn't need the snowshoes to get up to the lake as the trail was well worn but experience told me to carry them anyway.
After repeatedly plunging thigh deep in snow while trying to get to Sarrail Creek to make photos, I decided it was about time for the snowshoes, they allowed more exploration of the little area I now know so well. I've made this hike numerous times now so there's no full write up today, but for those seeking more detail on the location with directions click here to see a previous write up.
The main image shows Rawson Lake guarded by Mt Sarrail and that little tree still hanging on to life even though it is exposed to the freezing cold 9 months of the year. The gallery below has captions and shows a good selection of images from today and hopefully suggests the biting cold of this wonderfully enjoyable winter mountain trek.
I walked the river circuit with Cecil today working on some specific aspects of exposure, so I made a few images along the way. There's little choice of topics along there right now but I liked the light on some of the decaying leaves so shot that today to post this small gallery.
A rare excursion to the front of the house today to catch the beautiful sunrise. The sun is so far south at this time of year that it rises directly south east from us (straight out of the front door). As you can see, the warm chinook wind is still with us and the snow has almost cleared out and better still, it looks to be staying that way for another week at least.
We arrived in Calgary, Canada on 29th December 2011 to continue our journey. This blog is intended to keep our family and friends informed whilst we explore Canada.You can use the RSS feed below to stay updated.
The Shaman, West Texas