Kootenay Local Secrets by Jesse

Kootenay Local Secrets by Jesse

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Meet Kootenay local, Jesse. He has taken every path there is with photography; wildlife, landscapes, outdoor adventures, weddings, family portraits and more. His passion for photography has been the one constant on his journey. 

The most profound discoveries he has made along the way are the compelling stories to be told of colourful characters, inspiring entrepreneurs, adventures and magical places. Jesse’s experiences have taught him a deep respect for wildlife and nature. A few of his wildlife photographs have even make it into the pages of Canadian Geographic ‘Best of Wildlife’ and a National Geographic contest editor pick.

There’s always been a camera in his hand and photography in his life. The learning never stops. Jesse lives for the days when he’s out there to unearth and create beautiful images or visual stories. Those are the moments when he truly feels alive. His favourite pastimes all involve being out in the wilderness. We feel very lucky to be able to showcase his beautiful work!

Grizzly bear in the Kootenay Rockies

What activity (or place) do you recommend for someone visiting the Kootenays for the first time?

I’ve spent a good part of my life exploring the Kootenays. I feel I’m still only scratching the surface of everything that’s out there to see and do in this area. If I were visiting the Kootenays for the first time, I’d check in at one of the visitor centers. They all do a great job of highlighting the local attractions. There are so many beautiful lakes to do paddle sports on and trails to hike. I’m a big fan of the Slocan Valley. There’s access to Valhalla and Kokanee Glacier Provincial Parks, Slocan Lake, Sandon with its silver mining history and Idaho Peak to name a few places.

 The road to Valhalla

When you head out on a Kootenay adventure, what items are a “must take” with you?

My camera goes everywhere with me! Bear spray because I’m always getting sidetracked with something beautiful to photograph and regularly find myself wandering off into the forest. I also make sure I have a sleeping bag in my vehicle because getting that perfect photo can involve long hours and overnights at times.

Views from Idaho Peak

How did you learn about “where to go and what to see” in the Kootenays?

I found a lot of my favourite locations simply by getting out there and exploring. I have to give myself several hours for what should be a short trip because there is always something to see. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time when exploring the Kootenays.

 Amazing light and wildfowers

Describe your ideal spring day in the Kootenays.

My ideal spring day would involve getting up early and out there to witness the sunrise. Hike the morning away. Find a nice quiet spot for a break and some lunch. Discover an afternoon adventure and then finish off the day with some sunset photos.

 The perfect spot for a lunch break

All responses and images by Jesse Schpakowski.

Feeling inspired? Now’s the time to get out and explore the Kootenays! We look forward to your next adventure.


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Tags: Canadian Rockies Columbia Mountains Explore Canada ExploreBC The Kootenays

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