Nighttime on Miner's Peak
After being repeatedly amazed by the photos that Noel has shared on our Facebook timeline, we decided to get to know him a bit better. Noel grew up in New Brunswick, and after falling in love with the Alps, decided to follow a dream all the way to the Canadian mountain ranges. Today, he calls Canmore, Alberta home where he runs Bow Valley Photography, driven by a strong passion to share the beauty of the mountains with others. When not out shooting, Noel can be found on the local bike trails, hockey rinks, and ski hills. Here's his report from a recent expedition.
"This series of photographs is from a few weeks ago when I spent the night on Miner's Peak here in Canmore. It was a hit-or-miss kind of thing. The whole valley was socked in with low cloud cover but I knew if I could climb above it, it would make for an epic night up high. The Orionid meteor shower was going off all over the globe that evening as well, and it was the final element that made me try it.
I started the hike at 10:30pm on a dark moonless night. Fresh snow from that day covered the trail and made route-finding rather difficult. I got lost and off track more than a few times, but luckily have a reasonably good sense of the mountain from previous hikes, as well as a lot of time spent in helicopters flying over and around it. I kept pushing, and after three and a half hours (of what is usually an hour and half hike), I finally crested the saddle that lay between the peak I spent the night on and the one I wanted to photograph.
As soon as I got my first glimpse of what lay below, I gave out a big yell of excitement, and knew the effort was going to be well worth it. I hiked the next half hour to the point where I would stay the night in absolute awe of what I was witnessing below me. Not to mention the numerous shooting stars that were streaking all across the sky above. This series of photographs follows the progression of how things played out that night. To say that it was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my life is a huge understatement!"
As you can tell, Noel prefers to shoot at night when even the busiest and most popular trails are usually deserted. "Arc'teryx plays a huge part in this. Without the use of your quality gear, it would be hard to stay warm and dry through the night and into the early hours of the morning when I have captured some of my favorite images."