We have had so much rain in Sea to Sky Country lately that when the sun began to poke through I had to rush down to the Squamish Estuary. This place is amazing. It offers a completely different view of the Squamish landscape. From this spot, all of the famous landmarks are in sight. Can you see Shannon Falls in the distance? However, the highway is not visible making this feel like a wild and remote area even with Squamish downtown just over to our left. When the tide is low and the rivers down the mudflats of the estuary almost feel like an apocalyptic wasteland. When the water is high it shimmers golden (or whatever colour the sky radiates).
Is it possible to tire of a scene like this? I don’t think it is. As a result, Squamish continues to amaze me. Now I just need to get back here on a dark, new moon night to see what I can see. Looking up, of course, the forest will be dark, eerie and full of the noises of night.
It was hard to pull myself off the couch and head down to Nexen Beach Squamish for this gloomy evening. However, as soon as I was out the door and on my way there I was pretty stoked. It always seems to be the way when we are in a weather system like we are right now. The difficulty is finding the motivation to move. Once on the move, though, I am rarely disappointed. I didn’t know what to expect and I was running a bit late for the light so I had to rush to get this image. In the end, I am fairly happy with it. The biggest lesson I learnt was “get outside”.
Rain, rain and more Squamish rain. Unfortunately, that is what we have had in Squamish for the past few weeks. The good news is that it has mostly been snow in the high alpine. It is too early to say but hopefully it is a good sign for the winter season to come. After awhile the rain can start to give one a cabin fever type complex. However, it is a great opportunity to read a book, watch a show on Netflix or teach yourself something new. After awhile, that’s exactly what I did. I attempted a new style of star trail editing.
After a year of living in Squamish there is no doubt about it, Squamish photography rocks! The list of reasons as to why Squamish is so stunning for photography could be endless so I have decided to keep it to a small number, for now. Here we go.
Squamish Photography Rocks #1 -The Night Sky
After spending a winter of commuting up and down the gorgeous Sea to Sky highway for work in Whistler it was a welcome relief when spring and summer broke. With the change in the seasons came my first experience of the Aurora Borealis in Squamish. I have seen it a few times over the years in Whistler and camping in the mountains near Pemberton. Sitting at home on my couch, I saw a tweet saying that activity was strong. I hadn’t explored the area much to find a good view north.
Obviously the best spot was going to be on top of the Stawamus Chief (the big rock on the right of the photo), however, I sure wasn’t hiking up there at 1100pm at night. So, it was a quick drive around to try and locate a spot. I ended up at this lookout on the side of the road just south of Squamish looking back at the town. The lights made it a little hard get the exposure that I wanted but in the end, I was fairly happy with the result. I’ll include a link at the end of the post to the time-lapse I created that night.
Squamish Photography Rocks #2 – The Weather!
One of the pleasures of living in British Columbia’s Coast Mountains is the speed at which the weather changes. It is ridiculous. Storms blow in and out at a rapid rate. Right now it is cloudy with sunny patches. This morning when I woke about it was a torrential downpour, biblical almost, and apparently we are headed back that way tonight with winds of up to 80 km/h. Clouds and storms moving this quickly offer some pretty amazing opportunities to snap a photo or two.
This shot of one the most famous landmarks in Squamish, The Stawamus Chief was a by-chance kind of shot. I was preparing to head out for dinner and looked out the window and saw the epic colorful arch stretching over the Chief. I jumped in the car, raced down to a spot where I thought might produce this kind of perspective. Rapidly, I snapped some shots, jumped back in the car and made it just in time for dinner. Fortunately, a couple of the photographs turned out nicely.
Squamish Photography Rocks #3 – The Water!
One of the great things about living in a province like British Columbia is the amount of water. It’s everywhere. There is an ocean, the pacific. Too many rivers and streams to keep count over. My favourite thing about several rivers and streams is that in mountainous terrain that means waterfalls. The drive from Squamish to Vancouver has some awesome waterfalls along the way. Shannon Falls (just south of Squamish), which is visible on the right side of the double rainbow photo above, makes it hard to keep your eyes on the road as you pass it.
About 30 minutes north of Squamish and 20 minutes south of Whistler sits Brandywine falls. The river crashes over a crumbling hole in the earth into the bowl below. It’s worth a stop no matter what time of year or what the weather (they do close the gates to the park for the winter months).
As I mentioned, these are just a few of the reasons that make this area incredible. The list of reasons could go on. Next time I bring up the reasons Squamish photography rocks I’ll probably mention things like eagles, mountains, mountain biking, kite-surfing, rock-climbing, lakes, forests…well you get the point.
Well, well, well, what have we here? Photographs taken out in the beauty of nature. Mostly Mountains is about embracing and appreciating the breathtaking planet we are so fortunate to live upon. So often we get caught up with the excuse of ‘busy’ and forget to take a moment or two to appreciate what we have. In a way that is what I am attempting to do. I’ll bring you a photo every day or two to begin the email. After the email I might write something, I might not, you can totally just look at the photo and disregard the rest.
I spend the majority of my time in British Columbia’s Coast Mountains on Canada’s west coast but from time to time I am lucky enough to get out and travel and check out other parts of the world. I try to visit other mountains as the mountains are what I live and breathe for however occasionally I will feature the beauty of flatter lands and even man made mountains (cityscapes and city life).
I am always learning and would love any feedback or suggestions so please don’t hesitate to send them forth.