SolStice on the Seven Summits

You never know what you’re going to find in the back country

Tamara Hynd

 

Rossland News

 

You never know what you’re going to find in the back country. Two weeks ago my husband and I rode the Seven Summits on what seemed like a gift of a warm October day in the sub alpine. The Seven Summits is an epic 35 kilometre mountain trail near Rossland famous with mountain bikers and is hailed as one of the best long distance single track rides by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

Half way through the ride we heard a group of people before we finally saw them scattered along a ridge. Upon closer inspection, I saw one man with a large box camera setting up a shot just below the gentle saddle-like ridge line.

When I see a professional photographer setting up a photo with a second photographer toting a camera larger than my head as a sample shooter, I pay attention.

My camera, ironically, had pronounced itself critically ill two days earlier with a lens error so I dropped my bike and grabbed the simple point-and-shoot my husband had onside.

As I scrambled up the ridge, the photographer seemed rushed to get the shot. Rather than disturb him, I simply smiled at him and asked one of his friends who he was. It was none other than Richard Soltice from Rossland who published a book of black and white photography called The Light of the Gathering Storm in 2011.

I started photographing them.

Some people think they could get the same shot if they were just in the same spot. And they might and they could but they usually don’t. Why? Because they are not there.

Soltice was, and so was I, but he had an impressive camera that looked like it weighed 40 pounds. He had hiked up a two and a half hour trail lugging the bulky beast on a fair weather day. His focus was a grey sun bleached overturned stump with root pad still intact with a veil of scattered clouds against the deep blue sky that comes with higher altitudes.

Another man came over to show me the black and white shot on his camera display. The image was stunning. The sample photo immediately reminded me of Ansel Adams’ photography which I have had on my walls for years. I would later learn that Soltice apparently did study under Adams.  I also read that somewhat of a purist, Solstice doesn’t digitally enhance his photos either.

I watched as Soltice ducked under the thick blanket to check the shot, then come back out to switch the filter/ negative again. Everything had an air of haste to it which perplexed me as from my perspective the subject seemed quite solidly rooted.

Then I saw a jet flying from the north west heading directly for the middle of his clouds. Fast. I think I heard a curse word and Soltice speed up but he was too late. The shot was ruined.

“The jet stream will last longer than the clouds,” he said. “It’s done.”

The hefty efforts and a great photographic find all to be ruined by a vapour trail. While people debate that planes pollute our atmosphere, in this moment, one jet contaminated a photographers’ vision.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Indecent exposure at Trail’s Gyro Park

The incident occurred on Saturday afternoon just before 5 p.m.

Shots fired at a West Trail home

Police report that the victim, a 37-year old Trail man, was not injured

City of Rossland cancels first open-air bazaar event

The city said the event was cancelled due to low participation.

Perry Siding man drowns in kayaking accident

The death occurred in Slocan River last month

Redstone Resort celebrates Fathers Day

Redstone helps out the J. L. Crowe golf team with Century 21 Kootenay Homes Fathers Day Fundraiser

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Commercial huckleberry harvesting restricted in Kootenays

The province of B.C. has banned commercial-scale picking from July 15 to October 15

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Most Read