This month, we showcased local West Kootenay explorer, Kieran Wood. Going through life one switchback at a time, Kieran and his trusty 4-legged companion, Bane, are constantly looking for adventure and mountain summits. To see more of Kieran's stunning photos, check out his Instagram feed.
#1. If you could choose one spot in the Kootenays that make you the happiest, where would it be?
That's the thing about the Kootenays, it's almost impossible to pick a single spot. There is so much to explore. Every time I go for a new hike, I find myself saying, "This is one of the best views I have ever seen." So instead of choosing a specific location, I would say that I am happiest in the mountains. Camp set up and on the summit of a mountain, with my dog, Bane, and my girlfriend, Mags. That is where I am happy.
Nancy Greene Summit in Rossland, BC.
#2. Who is your favourite outdoor companion?
Choosing a single companion is also difficult. There is something about spending time in the mountains with like-minded individuals that creates strong bonds. Having said that, my dog, Bane, is my partner through and through. Sorry, Mags. How happy he is bounding down the trail is infectious. As I prepare my things, he knows an adventure is imminent. He is the Samwise to my Frodo.
Bane the dog, checking out the sunset in Rossland, BC.
#3 - Describe your perfect day in the Kootenays?
There are many different ways to have a perfect day in the Kootenays. Whether that is in a park, going to micro-breweries and coffee shops, or waking up in a tent, it is up to you to create the day you want. The perfect day for me already begins on the mountain. Watching the sunrise with coffee and then eating breakfast. Take down camp and summit another peak. Head back home and stop at a hot spring to soak our weary muscles. Get dinner somewhere and a pint to go with it. Sleep. Start planning the next one.
An unexpected guest in the Valhalla Provincial Park.
#4. How does the Kootenay wilderness inspire you?
It's not just the region of the Kootenays that inspires me, but its inhabitants as well. The Kootenays are filled with creators of all kinds. It is comprised of adventure addicts and outdoor lovers from all walks of life. Our vast expanse of nature is initially what got me started in photography. I was a hiker first and knew I wanted to tell the stories of my adventures by bringing people with me. I want to inspire people to get outside and experience all that we have to offer. To share my experiences with people who haven't had their own and don't realize all that we have.
Enjoying the summit in New Denver, BC.
#5. What do you love about exploring in the Kootenays?
I think the previous questions answered what I love about the Kootenays better than I can in a single answer. We have it all here and there is no place I would rather be. We are all lucky to call the Kootenays our home.
The City of Nelson glowing by night.
Who's ready for an adventure now?! All photos and words by Kieran Wood.