While shooting the stunning larch trees at Highwood Pass earlier this week, I found myself repeatedly having to wait prolonged periods for the light to break through the snow squalls overhead. So for some time I just huddled into the boulders keeping out of the cold wind.
Maybe it was easier to sit and wait after the hike in and that appealed to my lazy nature, I don't know, but I suddenly realised there was more to see all around me beside the wonderful larch valley. I watched the light as it crossed the mountains filling the shadows and darting in and out of the deepest crevices, cloud shadows have always been a favourite of mine as they chase across undulating ground, it turns out that light splashes are just as interesting and equally rewarding.
I picked up the telephoto lens and began an often frustrating game of 'Predict the path of the light', what might seem a straightforward task turned out to be both difficult and entertaining. I confess I made a number of entirely useless images, but one shot capturing the corner of Highwood Ridge made the game worthwhile. The dramatically sheared rock face has captured various peaks of falling rock over time that now appears as a small "range" clinging to the fractured grey wall and, after only four attempts, I managed to capture the light splash in just the right place.
I still need to remind myself that a long telephoto lens is incredibly valuable when chasing mountain landscapes, even if I really don't fancy hiking miles with it.
It has been 7 months since I posted from Canada, simply because I haven't been here at all. You can see my last post below was made from my home in the UK where I have been for almost 9 months. The unexpected hiatus was brought about by the continuing Covid 19 saga allowing a prolonged stay in the UK using the 'work from home' mandate.
I returned to Canada just a couple of weeks ago showing unintentionally perfect timing for the autumn displays in Kananaskis. I climbed a few hills and made a few hikes in an effort to regain some mountain fitness and to remind myself of the effects of altitude, something we sea level dwellers don't normally have to deal with.
Once I knew the larch were changing I made my way to the car park at Highwood Pass and hiked up to the boulder field trapped between Mt Pocaterra and Mt Tyrwhitt. I love this location for an autumn hike because of the stark contrast between the bare rock and the autumnal foliage always makes for beautiful images. There are many shots to be made in this relatively small area on and around the boulder field, from individual larch trees right through to a full panoramic landscape that you can see below.
So, if you're chasing autumn colours in Kananaskis, make your way to Highwood Pass, but don't follow the masses up Pocaterra Ridge, instead head up the boulder field and get a new perspective.
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