Tours in Alberta & BC

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COVID restrictions are coming off but it is still not clear that we are over it. So, going forward we are doing things slightly differently. Instead of setting dates, only to have to cancel them, we are outlining the tours we have done
in the past and leaving the dates open.

We will take tours of as little as three people and as many as twelve. If you are interested in one of our tours, contact me with the date you are available and the number of people to attend and we will arrange it from there.

All times are approximate and can be adjusted to meet your schedule.

 

We do have one scheduled tour for this fall: Mount Assiniboine Photo Tour | September 16⁠–⁠18, 2022

Tours

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Mount Assiniboine

September 16 – 18, 2022

This tour is for those who enjoy tenting and a good hike in a breathtaking venue. The tour will take place in and around Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. The Canadian Rockies are an extremely popular destination for walkers, hikers, sightseers, naturalists and photographers.  As such, booking accommodations at lodges and campsites is always difficult. To address this, I have chosen a wonderful site, the Magog Lake Campsite, which has ample campsites and several options.

Getting There:

It is the responsibility of the participant to get to the Mount Shark Trail Head. From there Mount Assiniboine has a few options:

 

  • You can hike into Lake Magog from the Mount Shark Trail Head (27 km)

  • You can hike into Lake Magog from the Mount Shark Trail Head (27 km) and helicopter in and out your pack. There is a charge for this.

  • You can take a helicopter from the same starting point in, hike out and helicopter out your pack.

  • You can helicopter in and out.

Once at Lake Magog there are three options for accommodations, tenting at the Magog campsite, staying at the B.C Parks Naiset Cabins or staying at the Mount Assiniboine Lodge. The helicopter flight can be arranged just before the tour; however, the cabins and the lodge fill up early. So, if we are to have any hope of booking these, we need to know who is going and where you want to stay. The lodge rates and the helicopter rates can be found here.

Itinerary:

Because mountain weather is unpredictable, this is a tentative itinerary. Times and photo locations are subject to change depending on weather and road conditions.

 

The hike into Lake Magog is an easy 27 km if one takes Assiniboine Pass. There are some opportunities to take photographs but most of the time you are in the trees. If you hike in via Wonder Pass, there are more photo opportunities but there is one extremely steep portion that is no fun unless you are very fit. No matter which route you choose you should allow six to eight hours. If there is anyone who would prefer to hike in, I would certainly accompany them. However, the cost of the helicopter is reasonable. If you fly in, you can take in more gear than you can hiking and you get more time to explore Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park where the photographic opportunities are mind-boggling.

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On our arrival at Lake Magog, we can spend the afternoon photographing around the lake, there are interesting landscapes, reflecting ponds, flora and occasionally some wildlife. In Mid-September the sun sets around 7:55 pm and it rises around 7:15 am. So, our first sunset shoot will be around Lake Magog. The evening light can be spectacular. 

 

The following morning we will get an early start at 6:00 am (bring your headlamps), and hike up towards the Nub, about one hour. There we will be able to photograph back towards Mount Assiniboine and Sunburst Peak. If the weather co-operates, the morning light is special. After sunrise, we can continue to the summit of the Nub for a tremendous panoramic view of the entire valley.

 

We generally try to make it back to Lake Magog by 3:00 pm in time for tea at Mount Assiniboine Lodge. For the sunset shoot, we will hike towards Wonder Pass. The larches at this time of year are outstanding. We will return to the same area in the morning for our sunrise shoot. Not only do we have fantastic views of The Towers and Terrapin Mountain but Gog Lake is a photogenic gem.

 

On the Sunday you can either hike out (this time I recommend you take Wonder Pass) or helicopter out. The hike is almost all downhill and takes about six hours, allowing for a couple of stops for photos.

Equipment List:

  • Camera:

    • DSLR/Digital Mirrorless

  • Lens Choices:

    • 28 mm f1.8 Wide angle

    • 50 mm f1.4 Normal

    • 85 mm f1.8 Standard

    • 24 – 70 mm f2.8

    • 70 – 200 mm f2.8
       

If you have prime lenses, bring a wide-angle (like a 28 mm) and a longer lens (like a 50 mm). If you have a zoom lens, bring a lens that zooms into about 24 mm. (like the 24-70 mm). For a complete list of other equipment including camping, clothing, and other necessities, please download the complete Mount Assiniboine Trip Itinerary.

What You Can Expect:

How to choose the best location for a given day and time. How to work an alpine site. What special considerations there are for shooting in the mountains? Composition beyond the rule of thirds. An in-depth look at exposure strategies. Photographing in less-than-ideal conditions, (low light, overcast days, bad weather, extreme contrast etc.), postproduction tips.

Cost:

The tour fee is $595 per person. In addition, there is your cost of transportation, accommodation, and food. I have set the cost out this way so people can decide which of these items best suits their circumstances. Please complete the attached information form. Once returned, I will provide you with a quote.  With a deposit, I can then make all the reservations on your behalf.

 

While we are fully insured, all participants are required to sign a standard participant’s release and indemnity agreement prior to the tour.

Cancellation Policy. You may cancel up to 30 days before the event with a 25% penalty. After that, there is no refund for cancelling. This tour will proceed regardless of the weather. (Sometimes the best images are produced during inclement weather.) If you have any questions, email me at: david@buzzeo.ca.

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Jasper, Alberta

The tour starts on a Friday evening, with a full day on the Saturday and concludes Sunday afternoon. Participants are responsible for their own accommodations and meals. However, we can arrange a block booking of rooms with a local hotel. All the photo sites are easily accessed from the roadway and involve no more than an easy fifteen-minute walk. For more details contact us at david@buzzeo.ca.

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Mount Robson Provincial Park

This tour involves some intense hiking and three evenings of tenting. We leave on Friday morning and hike to the Whitehorn Campsite. Saturday, we hike to the Berg Lake Campsite and tent there Saturday and Sunday evening. We return to the trailhead on Monday. Because BC Parks only allows making reservations within a four-month window, it will be April or May before we have the exact dates.  For more details contact us at david@buzzeo.ca.

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David Thompson Country/Abraham Lake

The format is like the Jasper Tour. We will start Friday evening, with a full day on the Saturday and conclude Sunday afternoon. Participants are responsible for their own accommodations and meals. If you are into camping (recreational vehicles or tenting) this is an ideal location as there are ample available camping sites. There are also local hotels, motels and lodges. We can assist you with making a reservation.  All the photo sites are easily accessed from the roadway and involve no more than an easy fifteen-minute walk. For more details contact us at david@buzzeo.ca.

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Elk Island Park

(7:00 to 11:00)

Transportation is included in this tour. We leave from and return to Edmonton. A chance to get close to the buffalo and other park animals. Followed by a short walk through some of the distinctive landscape and ecology that is Elk Island Park. For more details contact us at david@buzzeo.ca.

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Ukrainian Cultural Village

(9:00 to 2:00)

Transportation is included in this tour. We leave from and return to Edmonton. A walk through the Ukrainian Cultural Village to capture the history of the early Alberta settlers. For more details contact us at david@buzzeo.ca.