When I reflect on 2013, I feel like I barely traveled. Yet, as I scroll through my collection of #ExploreAlberta images, I realize I visited more amazing places in the past 12 months than in most previous years. The difference? I traveled locally, rarely leaving my home province. I live in an incredible place. The Canadian Rockies are my backyard. Here is my #explorealberta 2013 year in photos:
January 2013 – Ski Touring in the Canadian Rockies
I kicked off 2013 with a new job – Media and PR Specialist with Tourism Jasper – and less time to play outside; however, on weekends, I managed to sneak off or some memorable backcountry ski trips. This tour at Cirque Peak was one of the best and definitely a good start to 2013.
February 2013 – Snow Angels and Dark Skies in Jasper National Park
It was a cold night on Patricia Lake and I was attempting to capture Jasper National Park’s dark skies but I couldn’t find an interesting foreground, so I decided to make one. The image was instantly popular and my first brush with a “viral” post. Tourism Jasper and Travel Alberta shared the photo.
March 2013 – Bald Hills Jump Session
This image remains one of my favorites. It’s the landing page on my portfolio website and it’s been used in Vue Weekly, Travelsquire.com, and the Jasper Local. It has extra meaning for me, too, as it was one of the last days I enjoyed touring with ski buddies who have since moved on from Jasper in favour of the Bow Valley.
April 2013 – Ullr’s Couloir
Ullr’s Couloir lies on Terminal Mountain in the backcountry behind Ski Marmot Basin. It’s a big piece of terrain that is often too hazardous to ski. Two friends triggered a large avalanche attempting to ski the line in 2012; however, conditions were right last April for an successful attempt.
May 2013 – Grizzly Bears
In May, temperatures soared quickly and Jasper enjoyed some of its warmest weather of the entire year. The snow quickly melted in the valley and grizzly bears descended into the valley. I’ve never had the opportunity to photograph these animals before, so it was exciting but I am still not happy with the images I captured. Hopefully I’ll have another chance this spring!
June 2013 – Maligne Lake
In June, I made my first trip to Spirit Island. Throughout the year, I visited more than a dozen times, leading photography workshops and guiding Travel Alberta photography groups. Although it is an often photographed landscape, I still captured countless images that I love.
July 2013 – Canoeing to Coronet Creek
The canoe trip to Coronet Creek is one of the original reasons I wanted to move to Jasper. It’s such a stunning location and it’s surrounded by uninterrupted wilderness. Fueled by the Canada Day pancake breakfast, we paddled out to spend the holiday weekend in silence.
The trip had extra meaning too, as it marked my return to freelance photography. I left my position at Tourism Jasper after only 6-months, having learned that permanent office positions do not suit my nomadic spirit.
August 2013 – Waterton National Park
Although Jasper and Banff get all the attention, there is a third national park in the Alberta Rockies. I finally made the trip south to Waterton National Park, which lies adjacent to Montana’s Glacier National Park. The highlight of the trip was the 6-hour hike to Crypt Lake.
September 2013 – Tour of Alberta and Alberta1X1
In September, I landed two of my best photography assignments of my life. To start the month, I covered the inaugural Tour of Alberta for Canadian Cycling Magazine. I watched as the world’s best cyclists raced around my home province. Later that same month, I guided Travel Alberta’s Alberta 1X1 instagram campaign. On that trip, I made fast friends with some of the top instagrammers and learned the value of the social platform. IG is now an important part of my workflow.
October 2013 – Larch Season in Alberta
In October, I needed a break from three months of back-to-back photography assignments, so naturally I went on a short trip with my wife, Romina. We headed to Lake Louise and Banff. The highlight of the trip was hiking the Larch Valley, above Moraine Lake.
November 2013 – Winter is Back
After what must have been the longest, warmest autumn in Alberta’s recent history, winter finally arrived in November. I also broke my camera, which meant I spent much of the month without making images; however, I did manage to capture a few classic winter images.
December 2013 – Calgary’s Peace Bridge
I ended 2013 with one last #ExploreAlberta assignment, guiding ThePlanetD around Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise. I picked them up in Calgary, where I captured one of my favorite images of the entire year.
#ExploreAlberta in 2014
As 2014 begins, I have several big goals and I’ll be sharing the experience on this blog like never before. I promise more great photos of my home province!