First of all, thank you for those of you who read (and shared) my previous post on the volunteer search efforts that took place this past August (if you haven’t, feel free to read it now!). Obviously, the searches and the interest around our story is very important to us, as it helps us live through this hard experience and, hopefully, helps us find them, to bring some peace to both our families. My family and I were part of the group of people who stayed on the mountain for a few days in August, organizing searches, and hoping for some positive results. These photos were intended to capture some of the beauty of the place and also to help people understand the difficulty and vastness of the terrain.
Before I write about our trip, though, I wanted to point out that Alison Taylor of the Whistler Pique magazine wrote an amazing article, entitled Missing in the backcountry, which gives an excellent overview of the events around Jon and Rachael’s disappearance and explains (in more detail than most media coverage) the efforts made to find them (this year and last). I highly recommend you read it if you want to better understand the intensity of the searches.
For the August 2011 searches, as well as the volunteer searches planned by Tim (previous post), we, the family, had planned a bunch of walks around the Lake Valentine area, which we spread over the 4 days we stayed on the mountain. We did this to get a better understanding of the terrain, cover ground that hadn’t been covered before (by SAR nor the volunteers), but also to make peace with the area. It is truly an amazing mountain to walk around; with all the work that went into clearing the trail this year, I highly recommend going to check it out if you can. I know I will go back up next year.
For the first day, our walk would take us from Lake Valentine (our base camp) towards the Peq Creek area, bushwhacking. Looking back, it wasn’t the best place to start as there were no “cool views” (like on day 2) and it was rather difficult terrain. But, it truly was educational for us to understand better what the forest looked like in that area. In fact, I barely got my camera out. I took one or two pictures of the actual walking in the forest and, otherwise, I kept it hidden from all the branches.
On the way there, we did find a few clearings – like the ones above – but it was pretty much bushwhacking the whole way. As you can see in the slideshow below, the forest basically destroyed my pants. The branches were so vicious!
Later on that night, I was able to play around with my camera and take a few pictures of the many stars out that night. You can clearly see the Milky Way and a ton of other star systems. It was pretty cool to spend time shooting the stars. (I did revisit the stars on other days and I think I even took better shots of the Milky Way, but I really liked this one).
* click an image for larger size, if you are reading from Facebook, you should visit my site directly to get higher quality pictures. (cliqué sur une image pour la voir en grand format – si vous lisez directement de Facebook, vous devriez visiter mon site directement pour voir les photos en meilleur qualité).