Our customer Curtis Cunningham is a freelance photographer living in Smithers, British Columbia, Canada. He enjoys using photography as a means to tell the story of the places he goes, and the adventures he has exploring the abundant natural beauty that surrounds him in BC. His first taste of backcountry skiing was in 2013, and began taking it seriously at the beginning of the 2014/15 season. Since then, every day that he has gone ski touring, his trusty f-stop Tilopa has gone with him, keeping his camera and other gear safe and dry. Curtis got in touch to share his personal take on ski touring and what drives him to keep heading out:
Words and photos by Curtis Cunningham
the people met and friendships made
the obstacles faced and challenges overcome
the beauty seen and wonder experienced
these are the hallmarks of my ski touring experiences thus far
and I’m just getting started
Wanting to do something different at the start of this season (which began for me on September 27, 2017) I began writing each evening after I come home from a day of skiing. I have several goals I hope to achieve with the stories that I tell: to share my experiences, what I feel, what my thoughts are, and the beauty that I see each day. I hope that the photos I make and the words I share give an raw, unvarnished window into the high and wild places of the world I call home.
I started ski touring regularly on November 1, 2014 and apart from two months in July and August of 2015, I've skied every month. So on this particular day, September 24, 2016, my streak was sitting at 12 consecutive months skiing and 20 out of the last 22 months. As September was quickly coming to a close, I needed to find some snow to keep my streak alive.
So I drove to the Twin Falls Recreation area (which is just outside of Smithers), and with my boots and skis A-framed on my Tilopa, I started hiking up the Glacier Gulch trail with the goal of skiing on the Kathlyn Glacier. It took close to 3 hours of hiking through the trees, up the scree and across the toe of the glacier to get to a point where I could make a few heinous turns.
I've come to firmly believe that skiing isn't so much about the quantity or even quality of snow I ski on. But rather, the most important thing is the experiences I have when I'm out on the snow. This day was certainly an early example of that maxim.
"We Are f-stop" is a for all f-stop users to share their stories from the field, whether small daily adventure or epic travels. Get in touch with your story on Facebook or drop us an email to [email protected] and let us know on where your photography takes you and your pack!