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In September 2023, my friend Matthew and I went to the Canadian Rockies to do some hiking. As the dates for the trip neared, the forecast got worse. A couple of days before we left, temperatures were forecasted to be -5 C with about 5-10cm of snow in the valley bottom (more at the elevation we were going to be). We debated whether to go, but I’ve been to the Canadian Rockies enough times that I’ve begun to understand the weather. If anything, it is variable, so we ultimately decided to try our luck.
As luck would have it, the conditions during our one day there were incredible. You can read more about our ‘epic’ adventure here (its epicness was verified by a few people outside the experience). But that morning, I had been debating whether to get up and leave the warm sleeping bag to freeze during a sunrise shoot. I couldn’t think of anywhere I wanted to go, but the forecast pointed to me staying pretty close to the eastern edge of the Rockies. I also had a 20km hike later that day and needed something that didn’t require much effort. Having visited quite a few of those locations many times over the years, I decided on a place that I’d never been: Quarry Lake near Canmore. Upon arriving, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The valley was shrouded in low clouds, partially obscuring the mountain, but light was beginning to illuminate the cloud in the east. I set up this composition and waited as the morning light burned off the low cloud in front of the mountain, and we were all treated to one of the best displays of light I can remember.
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