Sunday, September 29, 2013


The Kootenay Sufferfest went ahead this weekend, despite ongoing precipitation and a snow line well below the heights reached by both the bike and run challenge courses. Here sleet greets a rider at 1500 metres before beginning the first descent at 15 km into a 100 km course: the next climb will be much higher and he'll meet axle-deep snow there.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

At the snow line

At about 1600 metres, the snow is just barely sticking. Looking up from below, this elevation displays itself as a distinct snow line.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Winter up here

Past a certain point in September or October, you can usually find winter somewhere if you climb high enough. Today that was Idaho Peak, overlooking New Denver, at just over 2100 metres.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Western anemones

A common subalpine flower in these parts, the western anemone forms lovely seed heads in August. We think they look like the wild silvery hair of aging hippies, also common in these parts.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A question of scale

It might look like a nondescript photo of a trail with a bit of snow and moss, but it's actually a photo of a creekbed in a high alpine basin, taken with a zoom lens from a nearby summit. There's a girl in the photo, at about 2 o'clock.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Lyle Creek Basin

A beautiful alpine basin, the result of a long slog up 750 metres of switchbacks, near Mt. Brennan. Arrival over the lip of the basin, welcomed by this sudden view, makes it all worth it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Alps Alturas Lake

This lake is about 1500 metres above the elevation of Slocan Lake. Despite its small size, it is incredibly cold, even at the end of the summer.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

Watermelon snow

Watermelon snow is the pink mid-summer snow that we often see in the alpine. It's the result of an algae that thrives on slowly melting snow exposed to lots of bright sunlight. It actually smells of watermelon too.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Carpenter Creek Run-off

This photo was originally taken during the last week of June during a Cessna flight we did with a friend. I forgot to post it at the time. It shows New Denver, and the mouth of Carpenter Creek flush with spring runoff muddied by significant erosion upstream, presumably in the Sandon area where there is considerable instability of the creek banks. A similar photo that we took has taken on a life of its own as an advocacy tool for various environmental stewardship groups who are trying to draw attention to the issues in Sandon.