Skeena Heli Ski
Skeena Heli Ski
The Art of Ski Photography
Northern BC continues to draw me back. Vast wilderness with very few people, backyards full of wildlife, little towns dwarfed by open spaces and thousands of miles of skiable mountains. Really–what’s not to like?
It’s true wild country. Mountainous and coastal. Wet and dry. The more I see, the more I realize there IS to see. You know that child-like curiosity that’s hard to curb of an insatiable desire to peek over the neighbour’s fence? I get that for mountain ranges. I can’t stop the want to peek over the next mountain range and the next.
Smithers, BC is the little gem of a town that sits a good 12 hrs drive north of Vancouver. A community of welcoming outdoor lovers, drawn to the wilderness and attracted to the quietness of open space and availability of adventure. Like it’s northerly neighbouring towns Smithers is a gateway into skiable terrain that’s loaded with adventures. An experience that’s also void of the presence of people. If it wasn’t an extra flight from my family in Australia and far from the Arc’terxy office in Vancouver I could easily live up in this great white north.
The Skeena Ranges sit north of Smithers. They are a sub range of the Coast Mountains and lie inland of the southern end of the Boundary Ranges. We ended up here as a result of it’s ethereal looking landscape. I was looking for a location for the backdrop of a Women’s Ski Campaign. I was looking for two things in a landscape. Strong Beauty as this is always how I have tried to portray the women of Arc’teryx. Thanks to the support of Travel Northern BC we found that in the landscape of the Skeena Ranges.
Our crew consisted of Forrest Coots, Michelle Parker and the every entertaining Austin Ross. This shoot was a collaboration with Cam and Bryan from Reel Water Productions to capture footage for their first season of Michelle Parker’s Originate series.
Although stunning we arrived to some very wind affected conditions so although the athletes made it look effortless it was difficult snow to ski and harder to shoot. Something that is never good for morale, can often limit what’s safe to ski and always a challenge in the business of being an outdoor creator. More often than not is that you just have to make the best of what you’ve got which is the true art of ski photography.
Behind the Scenes
A few years ago we did a shoot in Smither’s, BC and were supported by Travel Northern, BC. We had such a blast working with them that when I found the next project that we could shoot up there I asked them for recommendation for the location I was looking for. They generously invited us to Skeena Heli.