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Arcteryx Climber, Emilie Pellerin

An impromptu photoshoot in BC's Bugaboos Provincial Park

Smoky skies and the Snowpatch Spire

I first started visiting the Bugaboos as an eager teenager looking for late season snow to ski and then, once my daughter was old enough to tackle the short but steep climb to the Conrad Kain hut, we went to the “Bugs” every year as an annual daddy-daughter hiking ritual. Even now, after my daughter has “outgrown” such novel ideas, I still manage an annual pilgrimage to this region of soaring granite spires and seas of glacial ice. Most certainly, the Bugaboos represent one of my favourite places on the planet to visit.

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Often their vocabulary is reduced to one simple word, "whoah."

After so many visits to this magical place, I truly enjoy the experience of observing someone’s first time there. That moment, when we climb off the lower moraine and you see the Hound’s Tooth Spire surrounded by the Bugaboo Glacier, and your first timer is literally stopped in their tracks by the breath-taking view. Often their vocabulary is reduced to one simple word, “whoah.” If you haven’t been, I encourage you to put a hike to the Bugaboos on your list. You won’t regret it.

Self portrait taken at a time when the smoke from fires wasn't present

On this particular trip, smoke from fires raging in Washington and Oregon were drifting into BC, obscuring the spectacular view, and my hopes of capturing some amazing landscape photos were beginning to dwindle. Then, I met Arc'teryx climber, Emilie Pellerin.


I was awoken briefly at around 2:30am by hushed voices and light from headlamps moving through the Applebee campground and later that morning, while cooking breakfast, disillusioned by the smokey skies, Emilie and her climbing partner stopped by for a visit as we were the only other party camping that night. I soon discovered that they had just returned from climbing Snowpatch Spire (Sunshine Crack, 5.11) and, as they were telling the story of their climb and late night return, I couldn’t help but notice the infectious energy that Emilie had. Even while telling the story, she was doing walking handstands!

Yes, that's a human flag move. Insane!

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Covered head to toe in the latest Arcteryx fashion and filled with this crazy (in a good way) exuberant energy, I just knew I had to get some shots of this skilled Canadian climber. So I said, “Do you think you could do a handstand on the edge of that cliff over there?” And, without any hesitation, she said, “yes!” You can see from the photos that Emilie is not only an amazing athlete, she is a great person all around with tons of positive energy. I look forward to the day that I can work with her again.

Like what you see?

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Hey!  Thanks for visiting my blog!  I am a commercial photographer with a deep desire to be in the mountains.  In fact, it's sometimes difficult for me to slow down to take photos as I often get caught up in the moment of the sports and lifestyle that I should be shooting.  Aside from my passion for photography, I enjoy backcountry and alpine skiing, both road and mountain biking and hiking with my pup, Denali. If you represent a business and want to do some work together or you're an athlete with some notable talent, feel free to connect with me.  Let's make some magic!

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