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This was one of my very first hikes in Kananaskis Country, located just outside Canmore Alberta. What started out as a gentle walkabout eventually turned into a grueling hike. This wasn’t because it was all that difficult, especially for the locals but as I was visiting from Atlantic Canada, being used to sea level altitude, the higher elevation of the Rockies was taking its toll on me that’s for sure.
Weather in the Rockies can change in mere minutes and it had started out as a clear sunny day but clouds quickly formed over the lake, spawned by the peak of Mount Sarrail to the left of the image. What drew me initially to this image were the bleached tree stumps that dotted the lake shore. They made for good foreground elements and the impending storm clouds were a bonus. The choice of using a polarizing filter and just how much to polarize the reflections of the mountains and sky was a difficult one. On one hand I liked the fact you could see the rocks under the water which shows how crystal clear this lake was but I also wanted to keep some detail of the clouds and mountains in the reflection. I opted to meet somewhere in the middle and I think the balance worked out well.
This location was the start with my love affair of hiking in the Rockies and was the first in a growing list of weekends well spent away from the city. Clean mountain air, solitude and changeable weather. What more could anyone ask for? And yes, I eventually acclimated to the altitude and had many more wonderful hikes.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor