Each month we will be featuring explorers in the Kootenays! This past week we featured Sean Cameron from the West Kootenays. Sean grew up in the Okanagan, and is no stranger to the outdoors and adventure. He feels fortunate to have a family that encouraged and supported an active lifestyle, which helped him to develop a number of passions including fly-fishing, mountain biking, backcountry skiing and more. Making the pilgrimage to the Kootenays in 2014 has been one of his better life decisions. Moving deeper into the mountains and surrounding himself with fellow outdoor addicts has fueled his fire for adventure.
To see more of Sean’s photography, view his Instagram feed: Sean Cameron.
1) What do you love about the Kootenays?
The diverse ecosystems are incredible. From fragile alpine meadows, to old growth cedar forests, to grasslands dotted with pine trees. It’s all here, you just have to look for it.
This region is a magnet for people with the right attitude. Being around like-minded people motivates and encourages me to live my life to the fullest. You can think of the wildest adventure and someone is always keen to try and accomplish it with you.
Photo below - "Classic fall Monica Meadows shot in the Purcells. If you eve have the chance to hike there when the larch are on fire, do it! The hike in is very mellow and the reward is huge."
2) How does exploring the backcountry inspire you?
So many ways. The inspiration is what keeps
me coming back.
For me, the most inspiring is how small I feel when I’m out in the middle of nowhere. There is so much out there to see, it reminds me of how I am continually learning as I cruise through life. Every time I go into the wilderness, no matter what activity, there’s always something new to see. A new zone to explore, a new lake or stream, a trail leading to somewhere unknown, an unexplored backroad, a new plant or animal… it’s endless. It motivates me to never stop.
Photo below - "Following the skin track up to Ymir Peak at Whitewater Ski Resort. I'm still amazed at the amount of good terrain accessible right from the ski lifts."
3) Describe one of your perfect days in the Koots?
Setting up camp in a new area the night before and waking up to sunrise over an unfamiliar but stunning view. Oso Negro coffee and breakfast, then off for a morning fly fishing mission as the mist rises up off the water. After a successful morning, pack up and head to one of the many amazing bike trails for an afternoon pedal. Then top off the day with a stop at one of the un-developed hot-springs on the way home.
Photo below - "Nelson feels big when you're in it, but tiny when you look at it from a distance. Here's proof from the Bedframe bike trail lookout".
4) If you could choose that one spot in the Kootenays to explore where would it be?
The north end of Kootenay Lake, Duncan Lake, and beyond. There’s something very magical about that area. Rugged and remote.
Photo below - "Nice ski touring shot? Nope! This was on a fat bike mission attempting to ride 7 Summits near Rossland with a rain/freeze cycle created a crust so strong you could ride a bike on it. Definitely a memorable experience."
5) What is the Kootenay’s best kept secret?
I can guarantee that I have yet to find the Kootenay’s best kept secret. Until I do, my vote would be the vast amount of world-class fly fishing rivers and creeks the region has to offer. Which ones? Sorry, you’ll have to find them yourself!
Photo below - "A low early-season snow pack in the mountains lead to this impromptu sightseeing trip to Fernie. We were met by -15 degree weather, but the bluebird skies made for some amazing photos."
Responses and all photos by Sean Cameron.