Achievement | People In Nature

The image below comes as close to a motivational poster that I’ve ever photographed. It was a result of being at the right place at the right time with the right gear … Luck meets preparation.

During one of the pretties hikes within the Canadian Rockies that my wife and I took (Sentinel Pass to Paradise Valley within Banff National Park) we stopped for about 15-20 minutes to let the other half of our hiking group catch up, as we were scrabbling down a steep boulder section and they needed to take a little longer to traverse the section safely.

As we were waiting, another hiker pointed out there were climbers on the hoodoo rock directly in front of us. Since we had some time, I switched out to my 70-200mm lens and my 2x extender (thus 400mm lens), and began snapping a few frames of the climber up the rock face, knowing that I would fire off several when he arrived at the top. The day was beautiful with lots of puffy clouds and the rock was in shade pretty much the entire time he was climbing. However, right as he was getting to the top, the sun popped out, bathing the hoodoo in a golden glow, which created a perfect contrast to the large cliffs behind him, which had a blue hue within the shade.

Achievement | © Jay Moore Photography

Photography / Hiking Insight: My wife and I decided to do the thru hike up to Sentinel Pass and down to Paradise Valley. As for lighting in August, I would suggest getting on the trail somewhat earlier (8ish), so by the time you get to the top of Sentinel Pass, the lighting is still at the correct angle for views back into the Valley of the Ten Peaks, while still giving you nice light for your hike down into Paradise Valley. It’s a long hike, we tracked it at 16 miles, but the day was spectacular and we considered it one of the best hikes we took the entire time we were in the Canadian Rockies. However, the next time we will probably do each hike separately on different days (Day 1 – up and back to Sentinel Pass Day; Day 2 – hike into Paradise Valley).

Research: We primarily used Kathy and Craig Copeland’s book (Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies; The Opinionated Hiking Guide) and it was right on with every hike that it suggested. We also used Brian Patton and Bart Robinson’s book (Canadian Rockies Trail Guide) which was a great resource and provided details of each of the hikes we took. I would suggest getting them both, as you can do lots of your research before even arriving within the area.

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.

One Response

  1. jeff

    You finally put me in one!!!!

    August 24, 2012 at 10:41 pm

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