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Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park is one of the most scenic mountain parks in the Canadian Rockies. Since my wife and I visited several summers ago, I’ve had a fall visit in the back of my mind. That worked out this fall (2022) with my friends Matthew Stephenson and Bryce Mironuck. To save our legs, we decided to helicopter in and hike out. Having been on one helicopter ride in the past (flying out of Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park) I felt confident the flight would be a cinch. So when we strutted around the corner to the helipad into what appeared to be mass chaos, it was disorientating. Thankfully one of the staff could see we were lost puppies and took charge. Bryce’s flight was already on the helipad, and after a few seconds of frantic, confused yelling, he was on his way. They escorted Matthew and me to where we were to wait for further instruction which never came. We eventually figured out the intricate dance that was the Mt Shark helipad experience, jumped on our flights about an hour later, reunited with Bryce, hiked to camp, set up in the rain, and took off to explore.
One of the first spots I wanted to scout was the area I had shot a few years ago to see if we could find some decent reflecting pools for the following morning. We found this promising area and, the next morning, headed out to photograph the sunrise. However, there was quite a bit of cloud cover; we never got the conditions we wanted on our first morning.
On our last night in the park, the skies were clear so we weren’t sure if we shouldn’t just sleep to save energy for the final day (I had to hike out). We were all the way in the park anyways and decided we might as well go and reshoot this location. It was evident when we rolled out of our warm sleeping bags the morning would be special. Temperatures had plummeted below zero overnight, leaving the landscape covered in frost and ice and there was great high cloud all over the sky. Neither of us really spoke as we hiked to this spot – we didn’t need to. We knew we were in for a special morning. We both set up in our spots and enjoyed a fantastic display of light.
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