Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Head Space | Canadian Adventure Photographer

This Sunday my usual partners-in-crime (Patrice Bance and Jay Kilgannon) made our way up to the Robertson Glacier for some early season kite-skiing. Problem with having to book a few days off so far in advance is that you never know what the weather is going to do. Sunday morning we arrived at the Burstal Pass parking lot in this season's first serious storm. Close to 3 inches on the ground and near white-out conditions. The last few days I had been mentioning I would likely have an 80 lb pack due to the fact that we were overnighting it and I had the camera gear. Patrice brought a luggage scale and sure enough the total was 76 lbs (I must be nuts).

 Patrice and Jay make their way up the Robertson Glacier moraine

 Even with the snow and wind blasting us in the meadows pass the tree-line I felt really good. I am still trying to take it easy on the back but lately I have had a lot of energy. My wife recently went on a diet and I'm sure my eating habbits have changed enough that I'm feeling better. A trip like this is so much more enjoyable when you have the energy and regardless of weather, it was amazing to be out where we were.

Enjoying a fire, dinner, and red wine at -13 Celsius.

On Sunday afternoon we set-up camp at the lower drainage from the glacier and hiked up to the moraine below the actual glacier. With gusts of up to 60 plus km/hr we figured it might be better to try for Monday. Back to camp we went and had some time to get in a large meal and a few other nice luxuries that were worth packing in. Sleeping under a tarp with a bivy wasn't bad even at -13, it was more the uneven ground that tore me from my sleep at 6 am. I figured building a fire and waking up was better than a screaming back.

I left the trees around 9 am to take some shots of the nearby peaks in morning alpen glow, perfect blue-bird day and no wind. Even without the wind we could still make some great turns. After a long boot-pack through the boulder strewn moraine we made it to the base of the glacier. Unfortunately at about 500 ft elevation gain one of my bindings broke so the boys carried on up to the base of the Robertson col to start their descent.

On the way down after a well-earned ski descent on Robertson.

Even the short ski made up for the long and rough trek into the glacier. I felt good and rhythmic in my movement. I had no place to be at the time, my life as I knew it did not exist, managing my way through the rocks and snow. The only thing from the other side of my mind coming through was my family. I love being out in the mountains and pushing myself and tend to think more about my wife and kids now. My wife is very supportive of what I do and that gives me great energy when I am out there. My kids are great and I am very proud of them and appreciate the good and the bad times, just happy they are here. Getting out is always good but getting the full experience because your head-space is there, that is living.


  1. The last time I slept at the col was 25 years ago. It would be interesting to go back and see how far the toe of the glacier has receded. Great work in those weather conditions. Best of luck: Ken

  2. Thank you for the comment Ken. I have no doubt it has receded much. What a great place to get into though. Would love to hear what it was like back then.