Roaming with RockyWanders

Rocky (@rockywanders) an adventure photographer by night and product designer at Getty Images by day shares with us a day trip through the Canadian Rockies.

About the trip:

After a year of friendship pinky swears with Allison to do this specific adventure, we finally made it happen. We did this hike around early August of last year. This one is called Smutwood Pass. I'm not exactly sure why it's called that, but I have a feeling it's a combination of the two peaks you get to see when at the summit: Mount Smuts and Mount Birdwood. I went with two good friends who are also great photographers (Shan @grandmotherwolf and Allison @allisonseto), who also work with me at Getty Images. This 20km adventure was long, and normally it would take folks around 6 hours to do, but it took us 10 hours since we did a lot of stopping, slipping rocks and taking photos. 

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into photography?

This is a cliche, but I started tinkering around with my dad’s film camera when I was about 10 years old. I really loved sports photography at that age and decided I that cover some of the local sports events. I remember climbing up on top of a basketball hoop to take shots of the players from that extreme angle. The shots looked pretty sweet and the players loved it! I grew up with photography always around me. Even at this moment, I proudly work as a product designer for Getty Images, an organization known for moving the world through images.

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2. What's your favourite thing about adventuring in the Canadian Rockies and how does it compare to other places?

I’m sure all photographers who live close to the Rockies will tell you pretty much the same thing: we’re extremely lucky to have these magnificent mountains all around us. My most favourite thing about it is that there are always a few places to take your adventure to no matter what skill level you’re at. When I started going to the mountains, I started with flatter, shorter hikes (tons of them!) that are breathtaking. I can’t really compare it to other places yet since I haven’t summited mountains outside of the ones we have here. I would say though that in my list, northern Italy’s Dolomites and Iceland’s Landmannalaugar make it at the top!

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3. Must have items for surviving a long day hike?

2 litres of water, lightweight food worth over 2000 calories, hiking poles, gloves, sunglasses, hat, outer shell, compact down jacket, bear spray, headlamp, knife, and most importantly, a thirst for adventure!

4. What's your most memorable moment from this day at Smutwood?

The most memorable moment was when I took that final step to the summit, I looked around me and the view was absolutely incredible. From the summit, you can see the iconic Mount Birdwood, shaped like Paramount Picture’s logo. We stayed up there for a good hour just soaking in the views.

5. Next place to check off your travel/adventure list?

I want to learn more about mountain climbing so I can reach places only accessible by climbing. Whenever I go on an adventure, I always want to summit. So it would be logical to learn some technical skills to so I can do more around the Rockies!

See more of Rocky over on his Instagram or website

A Paddle Through Prince Rupert & Terrace

Both Terrace and Prince Rupert share the same biogeoclimatic classification as Vancouver - all highly populated with ancient cedars and temperate hemlock rainforests that guard the Pacific coastline, but much more remote than the lower mainland; the perfect mix for outdoor exploration.

If there was an official model of 'wild' in the flesh, this might have been it. Barely skirting by sandbars and driftwood, what we saw appeared with short notice. The area was marked with braided falls offshore and female black bears feeding with their cubs.

In an area where waterways seemed more prevalent than highways, it made sense that many of the best spots were better accessible by boat.

There are some experiences that feel uniquely privileged, our time in the Northwest was one of them. 

Photos and story via Great North Collective