This photograph was made on my second visit to this beautiful place. My first visit was stormy – thunder and lightning thundered and flashed all night as rain pounded down on my tent. Winds roared and thousands of giant trees, previously burnt in a forest fire, were blown down, unbeknownst to me until my hike out. My photograph was only ok. The mountain top was shrouded in fog and cloud. The hike out that day was an enormous challenge – many kilometres down steep mountain side with a trail covered in giant downed trees – commando crawling under some, climbing over or walking along others. The rain was still pouring. Mountain side creeks resembled rivers. My backpack was full of camping gear and my hands were full of my large format camera bag and my tripod. I had to – got to – return.
Two months later I went back. I camped and then hiked in the dark. Fresh berries were everywhere – a grizzly bear paradise and a spooky hike. All the effort paid off and Mother Nature put on an epic display of gentle, colourful morning light. I made eight to ten exposures on 4×5 film. The photograph above is more than I could have hoped for. I would have returned an infinite number of times to see this rugged beauty, but I was very happy to make this photograph in two.