This hike to Piper Pass was aimed specifically towards photography and those with DSLR cameras. While I love photography, I don't have a DSLR, mine is an Olympus Stylus 9000, but wanted to go for this hike as it was on my to-do list. I don't have settings on my camera as those of a DSLR to get the beautiful shots, so I am usually going for finding the unique or the artistic to make my photos stand out. Then again too, beauty is in the eye of the beholder! To start this photography day, I took this photo out my front door as I was getting ready to leave. In my eyes, this is beautiful!
Scrambled Legs and Adventure Designer put this day together and I was thankful that I could join them. I really enjoyed being able to drop my backpack and spend time roaming around, practicing with the camera settings and going for something nice without feeling rushed. After about 30 minutes ascending from the trailhead, we arrived at Elbow Lake. The lighting was not the best or what we had hoped for but fine enough to get this pretty reflection shot.
We spent quite some time at Elbow Lake then carried on with the hike around the lake and headed towards Piper Creek Canyon via logging roads, creek crossings, bushwhacking, along a real trail, by water falls and finally coming to an opening where we were surrounded with many mountain ranges. This photo was taken later on looking back at the meadow that we had just passed through, where we had our lunch break and where we spent a lengthy time being photographers.
From this meadow we could see our destination ahead. We would be going up the right side of the reddish colored mountain in the middle. If you click on the photo, you will see a faint trail heading directly up. I like the distinct coloring, and the definite division of each formation. The whitish beige formation on the left is called "Cats Ears". I'm pleased with how my photos turned out and it pays to be able to take the time to get the setting right.
I dropped my pack at the base of the mountain before beginning our ascent to Pipers Pass. I took the essentials with me, and appreciated the light load. It was a steeper climb then it appeared from the distance and was slow going. As I got closer to the top and my pace got slower, I heard an urgent alert! This time it wasn't "bear" but "rainbow"! That was my motivation to put the pedal to the metal and summit! I did! Just in time! I took this photo of the rainbow just before it faded. It lines the edge of the mountain in the center of this shot.
While hikes and scrambles and snowshoes are all about the journey, deep down inside, I can't help but make going for the summit important too and when I reach the top, I feel jubilant, I feel like I am "on top of the world", and the scenery is the best reward. From Pipers Pass, we scrambled a short distance to a higher vantage point. This was as far to the edge as I would dare to go because behind that splotchy green rock behind my foot is a drop off.
Going for scenery photos isn't the only thing I look for. I also enjoy checking out color. The grassy mound pops out and looks vibrant against the grey rock. Yes, autumn is just around the corner. The red is a sure sign! These emerald tarns were visible from our summit and I did zoom in to get a close up.
Like I said right from the start, I like going for the unique! I may not be the only one with a photo where this summit stone appears, but it is my stone, left for you, and the sentiment on it is a reflection of the feeling I feel when I am on these adventures. Adventure Designer pointed out the scene which we were actually looking at and photographing was identical to the photo on the front of the Kananaskis Lakes GemTrek Map and that is depicted in this photo! How cool is that! Did anyone else feel like they were being watched?
This was the first time I went on a hike geared for photography and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was not the only first for me today. While on the summit, the sky quickly turned from grey to black. While standing for our group summit shot, a flash of lightning appeared in the distance directly in front of us. On a mountain top is one of the last places on earth you want to be. We quickly packed up our stuff, made a fast descent, then at the bottom, geared up for the rain that just started before heading back through the meadow to the shelter of the trees. It was my first time in a lightning storm on a hike and hopefully my last!
From what I have seen in the past, I can hardly wait to see the photos that my friends took with their DSLR cameras, I know they will have some gems!