I had the pleasure of working in my local area last year shooting some catalog images for an Edmonton Sunglass line. I did all the creative on this shoot from concept to model recruitment, and had fun doing all of it! Here’s a gallery of some of the images which saw us doing Mountain Biking, SUP, running, and fly-fishing:
There are few lines in Kananaskis that I’ve seen and needed to do, the Mount French ‘hole in the wall’ couloir has always been on that list. Maybe it’s the fact that my house had a copy of the Backcountry Magazine with a picture of it during each morning constitutional, or maybe the fact that it has a damn hole in one wall was the clincher. Either way, this past weekend skibums aligned to get out and see what the area has to offer.
The area leading up to the wall is a well trodden trail, which is no surprise given the Chic Scott recommendation of ‘terrific backcountry adventure’ on the French-Haig-Robertson Glacier Route. Interestingly enough, we thought the 10 km approach was far too subtle and we needed to feel at home in the Rockies with some Hacksaw Jim Duggan style bushwhacking through a facetted cliff zone. Regardless of the attempts to fail on just making it to the trip, we found ourselves working up the mellow alpine French glacier drainage, this was the 2nd attempt for half of our group as they had gotten sidetracked on a closer line the year before that ended up with Champagne powder, er, I mean actual Bubbly for a birthday in June.
The weather took a slight turn for the worse when we saw spindrift happened above and around us and possibly directly under, it was hard to tell with hood up and my inner marching monologue of happy ski dwarfs. Upon actually spotting the couloir in the distance after a leisurely 4 hour approach, the reality of fun started to sink in and it wasn’t long before the skis were on the pack and we entered the hopefully sheltered north facing line.
Once on the up and up and up the uniqueness of the area started to become apparent. To say the line is a Geological oddity is an understatement. Carter (school for Geology) nearly had an orgasm and I couldn’t stop finding amusing innuendo about tips and holes.
The wall literally looks like some unseen force turned the wall to taffy and picked up this area to allow the snow to flow through. The ‘wedge’ sits in perfect parallel with the walls on either side like a chia seed wedged in my teeth after a cleanse. Anyway back to the skiing part.
We climbed only a few metres before noticing a very odd feature that looked like a dinosaur spine of perfectly spaced ice chunks going straight up. Upon closer inspection it was the boot pack of some friends from a week earlier, except it was elevated out of the snow by at least 10 inches.
I’m guessing this means that they had about a foot more snow in the shot when they skied, which would have made things a bit more enjoyable. The dino spine, waiting to grab our tips, made the already skinny line half as wide and half as likely to be skiable up to the top. We pushed our way up to the crux that we scoped from the bottom and decided that was far enough about 2/3 of the way up.
The way down with very low tide snow started with an ever intense first turn (and maybe one or two feet of side slipping), in which we all had thoughts of the last group’s trip which ended with a Kananaskis accident report. Once a few turns were made we all remembered that we knew how to ski and then the day just became a fun memory on the checklist of steeps in the Rockies.
One of the coolest things I’ve ever skied in my life. I finally stuck my tips into a gaping hole and got away with it.
Despite my best efforts in 2014 to do a shitty job of marketing what I do in the world of Stills, some good people decided to give me some excellent jobs that are starting to skirt the dream of synergy between job and lifestyle. Some of my clients throughout the year included Fairmont Hotels, Lululemon Athletica, Visioncorp, Ski Canada Magazine, Helly Hansen, and MEC.
Here are some of my favourite photographs from the year, some haven’t been shared before, and some have, enjoy!
1. Adventure photography is one of my favourite types of work and a Sunglasses company contacted me for a Catalog shoot where we did everything from Running to Fly-fishing and Climbing.
2.This year saw some firsts in the way of Backcountry skiing adventures, this was a perfect spring day climbing and skiing one of the classic Highway 93N couloirs on Mt.Chephren
3.2014 was also a first year for working as a Photography guide. As an avenue to meet people and show them around this beautiful home of mine, I was also able to reach some of my favourite locations more often.
A good friend decided that this year his birthday was best spent climbing up to a cave known as the Hole in the Wall. A group of around a dozen of us made the trek up. Ultimately we were having too much fun and forgot to leave in time so the last few hours of the descent were in the dark and we arrived around midnight at the cars.
There’s been a bit of a lull recently in the Banff snow scene, it’s all well and good as some of life’s other responsibilities have taken up my time. Usually when such things happen I start to get twitchy and can’t sleep very well. There is only one cure and it’s to have a dirtbag ski mission to follow some snow!
Crust they said. Only good above 2100 m they said. Don’t bother they said. Well they were wrong, and here’s why.
With some blind faith and a healthy dose of no F***s given, I convinced haphazardly for the likes of Carter McMillan and Keegan Capel to come skiing with me. We headed out to Rogers Pass to ski a zone that I’ve been in a few times and knew would at least be safe enough for storm skiing. What we found was very good skiing above 1700 m and good skiing down to the highway mixed with Alder gate bashing that would have made my Edmonton Ski Club race coaches proud.
After an initial day of climbing, we continued the budget living with a stop with some of Carter’s friends and a new concept I learned about called Freedom Beers. I first thought that ‘Merica had crept it’s way silently into this party, but what it actually means refers to the slightly damaged brewery cans that have misprinted labels or dents on the side, etc. The Freedom part is that employees get to take as many of this red headed stepchildren cans home for immediate consumption. Translation: Free no strings attached beers for Ski Bums! Pretty much heaven.
Once I awoke on day 2 Freedom actually seemed to mean oppressive-pounding-headache-beers, however nothing could stop us from getting another powder day in with 14 new cm’s on top of already good skiing from the day before.
Day 2 saw a bigger shred possé with a few Revy and Golden locals Kyle, Luke, Mitch, Jay, Kye. The word was definitely out about the conditions because we saw double the amount of cars in the parking lot on Sunday morning. It kept snowing hard on us through the day and we decided to play in the trees again and mess around Grizzly shoulder one more time. This time we found gnarnia and huge rock walls leading into a very aesthetic gully feature. More snow and more good times. I can’t wait to get back around the goods at Rogers Pass.
This has been one of Banff’s biggest storms that I’ve been witness to. Add to that, terrain openings at every ski area over the days of the storm and we had some pretty special conditions. Thanks to everyone that skied with me over this trip! Carter McMillan, Keegan and Garrett Capel, Vince Goyette, Michelle Brazier, John Walters, Andrew Hardingham, Simon Moffatt, and Griffon Larose
Sunshine Village Thursday:
Louise Friday / Saturday:
Norquay opening day on the Big Chair. What a special storm we’ve just had here’s a little preview of how things went at Norquay yesterday at opening.
All images in this post are copyright Dan Evans Photography and are not to be used without permission in other locations.
I recently got asked to come along and help shoot an early season Mountaineering Camp with Marty Schaffer and Canadian Powder Guides. Of course, I jumped (quite literally, see below) at the opportunity.
It also gave me the perfect chance to put my Helly Hansen Odin jacket through the paces of mucky muck in the Rockies. Thanks Helly Hansen and John in the Banff Store for supporting my habit!
I’m still riding high from learning some great rope skills in an environment of amazing people that transformed some very dry material into a party weekend. Chris Rubens mentioned that it resembled a ‘guide’s training’ that so many of the mechanized ski operations go through every year. The camp got us all stoked up to ski with the main message being ‘don’t fall in a crevasse, and you have no problem’. That being said now we can all trust ourselves a little more to be a good ski buddy when the shit (or partner) goes down.
Nights were spent hearing impactful presentations from Chris Rubens and Greg Hill with a lot of fireside chat. I also got to meet a passionate and talented photographer Bruno Long (he had one of my favourite Powder covers last season), we made nice after the initial Canon Nikon fanboy uneasiness.
Seriously though, add this on your season start up and you’ll be ready to make good decisions in the mountains.
This Thanksgiving was a trip back to the Prairies for some family time and creating some farm imagery. Areas visited were Sukonen Museum, Moose Jaw, and Tuxford, Saskatchewan.
The state of the prairies lifestyle is intriguing to me. The advances in technology has made most of the early farming families move on, and left relics of a prosperous time to go back to the land. When land claims were being made after the Dominion Land Act of 1872 you could move here and lay claim to farm a quarter section for only a $10.00 processing fee. Now the ‘family’ farm harvests 96 of those sections every year.
Barn sunset 1
Barn sunset 2
‘Mackerel sky, not long wet, not long dry’
Old Timey Truck
Visiting the graves of passed loved ones: