I am an outdoor adventure, landscape, nature, and product photographer based out of Cumberland in the Comox Valley, on British Columbia's Vancouver Island. This blog is where I post up all my adventures in the world of photography!

Mount Cain Weather Station Installation

November 27, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

In the fall I had the opportunity to accompany a Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre Society (VIACS) work crew heading up to Mount Cain to install weather station towers. This is part of a larger research project on weather and precipitation on Vancouver Island and the British Columbia coast.

Although the day started pretty miserably with rain and snow coming down at the Mount Cain lodge parking lot, by the end of it we were treated to glorious sun and views.

Special thanks to the lovely folks at VIACS for having me along for the ride!

For more information, and to learn about backcountry and avalanche safety, contact VIACS



LJ_20170930-B9301067LJ_20170930-B9301067Rustic cabins are the accommodations of choice on Mount Cain. LJ_20170930-B9301118LJ_20170930-B9301118Bill Floyd wrestles a chainsaw at the base of Mount Cain. LJ_20170930-B9301124LJ_20170930-B9301124Bill Floyd uses a chainsaw to cut plywood templates for the bases of the weather station towers. LJ_20170930-B9301275LJ_20170930-B9301275The heavy lifting was done by the good folks at West Coast Helicopter. Rain and snow featured at the beginning of the day. LJ_20170930-A9300024LJ_20170930-A9300024The parking lot at the base of Mount Cain made a good staging area and helicopter landing pad. Reaching for the skyReaching for the skyBill Phipps attaches a load to a line on the helicopter under dark and cloudy skies. LJ_20170930-A9300164LJ_20170930-A9300164The kind folks at West Coast Helicopter saved us a hike up the mountain. LJ_20170930-A9300225LJ_20170930-A9300225Bill Floyd hikes up into the fog to the location of the upper weather station tower. LJ_20170930-B9301326LJ_20170930-B9301326The new upper weather station tower is located next to the old one along the ridge on Mount Cain. LJ_20170930-B9301329LJ_20170930-B9301329The new upper weather station tower is located next to the old one along the ridge on Mount Cain. LJ_20170930-DJI_0043LJ_20170930-DJI_0043Aerial photo of the site of the upper tower. LJ_20170930-DJI_0047LJ_20170930-DJI_0047Aerial photo of the site of the upper tower, located adjacent to the ridge run trail. LJ_20170930-DJI_0048LJ_20170930-DJI_0048Aerial photo of the site of the upper tower, located adjacent to the ridge run trail. The blueberry bushes are in their scarlet fall foliage. LJ_20170930-A9300269LJ_20170930-A9300269Building the tower foundations requires a variety of tools. LJ_20170930-B9301338LJ_20170930-B9301338Dave Kallai and Haj consult over the hole they are digging for the new tower foundation. LJ_20170930-B9301346-PanoLJ_20170930-B9301346-PanoPanorama of the upper tower site LJ_20170930-B9301427LJ_20170930-B9301427The lower weather station tower is in a beautiful meadow LJ_20170930-A9300300LJ_20170930-A9300300Much digging was required for the foundations of the towers LJ_20170930-A9300307-HDRLJ_20170930-A9300307-HDRThe lower tower was located in a beautiful meadow. LJ_20170930-DJI_0064LJ_20170930-DJI_0064Aerial view of the site of the lower tower. LJ_20170930-A9300344LJ_20170930-A9300344Large boltsr are used to anchor the towers to their foundations, rebar reinforces the poured concrete foundations. LJ_20170930-A9300347LJ_20170930-A9300347The anodized blue of the nuts stands out against the autumnal sub-alpine colours. LJ_20170930-A9300365LJ_20170930-A9300365Megan Burns and Bill Phipps pour concrete for the foundation of the lower tower. LJ_20170930-A9300387LJ_20170930-A9300387Several bags of concrete went into the foundations of the tower, all hauled up by helicopter. LJ_20170930-A9300451LJ_20170930-A9300451The skies cleared and the weather was wonderful on the hike down the mountain. No helicopter for the return trip, so all the equipment and materials had to be hand-carried down. LJ_20170930-B9301553LJ_20170930-B9301553The team: Haj, Megan, Bill, Dave, and Bill LJ_20170930-B9301554LJ_20170930-B9301554All done!

Moonlight and Magic 2017

November 20, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Moonlight and Magic marks the beginning of the winter festival season in downtown Courtenay on Vancouver Island. It was a beautiful rain-free evening, and it seemed as though the entire Comox Valley came out to play.

My goal for the evening was to capture the energy of the event. To this end, I generally used relatively long exposures to illustrate the movement and flow of the crowds; my shutter speed for the most part was from 1/3s to 1/20s. Shooting mostly with a full-frame equivalent of a 90mm lens, and with all the shots being hand-held, the excellent in-body stabilization of my Olympus E-M1 was a necessity.  



Moonlight and Magic 2017Wishing for ramenNikkei Ramen-Ya was an oasis of warmth as the sun went down. LJ_20171117-BB178759-EditOpen lateThe crowds swelled and swirled around the lights of the stores and restaurants on 5th St. LJ_20171117-BB178693Something for everyone!Face painting was popular with the little ones. LJ_20171117-BB178828The streets were alive with the sound of musicMusic from roaming musicians, DJs, and pop-up choirs filled the street LJ_20171117-AB170558Float like a butterflyLights everywhere made for a magical evening LJ_20171117-BB179000The place to beAt times it seemed as though all of Comox Valley was gathered in downtown Courtenay LJ_20171117-BB179006Holiday spiritAll the businesses were dressed up for the holidays LJ_20171117-BB179062BubblesWhere else can you find bubble-blowing unicorns of a Friday evening? LJ_20171117-BB179115Under the bright lightsEven more music was to be heard at the stage on Duncan Avenue.

Vancouver Island Trail Running Series Ladysmith 2017 Highlights

October 06, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Cumberland Skate and Jump Park Grand Opening

September 22, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

BC Bike Race 2017 Cumberland and Powell River Photo Highlights

September 08, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

LJ_20170706-P7060063-PanoThe evening before the big day.The famous BOB (Bear On Bike) mascot overlooks the finish area on the evening before Stage 1 in Cumberland.

I was fortunate enough to be able to shoot the Cumberland and Powell River stages of the BC Bike Race for the first time this year.  To sum up the experience: WOW!  Eleven years in, the BC Bike Race is a well-oiled machine. The logistics involved in putting on a show involving over 600 racers and many hundreds of volunteers, not to mention three ferry rides and 300 km of racing, is absolutely outstanding!  Of that racing a significant portion is on sweet west coast singletrack...

LJ_20170707-B7074368Moto Patrol ready!The Moto Patrol roams the race course during the event, keeping an eye on racers and volunteers. LJ_20170707-P7070110LJ_20170707-P7070110The Cumberland Town Crier was on hand to inspire the racers at the start of their journey. LJ_20170707-P7070090Katerina NashSome serious star power shows up every year for the BC Bike Race. This year's solo womens' champion was Katerina Nash, a 5-time Olympian. LJ_20170707-B7074452And they're off!Racers surge through downtown Cumberland as the horns blow to signal the beginning of a 7-day adventure. LJ_20170707-B7074630Flowy Cumberland downhill.A racer charges down the Vanilla trail during the BC Bike Race. LJ_20170707-B7074680-2More sweet Vanilla flowThe Beaufort range in the background overlooks the action. LJ_20170707-B7075175Vanilla clearcutThe BC Bike Race course traverses logged forests around Cumberland. Cumberland is nestled in an active working forest, and the hard work of organizations like the United Riders of Cumberland has established ground-breaking land use agreements with the stakeholders. For more information, see http://unitedridersofcumberland.com/cumberland-trails-agreement-finalized/ LJ_20170708-B7087073Blue Collar flowBlue Collar never fails to put a smile on riders' faces. P7070077Sunset serenadeUpon arriving at the Powell River ferry terminal, racers were greeted by the dulcet tones of bagpipes. LJ_20170708-B7087593PacelineAs the race progresses, riders self-sort into groups riding at a similar speed. LJ_20170708-B7087673Over the boardwalkWoodwork is a prominent feature of many BC mountain bike trails. LJ_20170708-B7087779Getting rowdy!There's always some time to have a bit of fun on the trails, even during a race. LJ_20170708-P7080314-2Bike Patrol on patrol! LJ_20170708-B7087795Treats!Volunteers bearing trays of flat Coke were a welcome sight as racers neared the homestretch of the Powell River course.


The BC Bike Race is definitely a bucket-list type of event for any serious mountain biker.

For more information on the BC Bike race, check out their website:




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