WE ARE F-STOP: Canadian rockies with max montella

Max Montella lives in the PO Valley, northern Italy, landmark of the rice fields and, on the feet of the Italian vineyards famous all over the world. He likes traveling and roaming since he was  a little man (now he's a bearded big boy close to the 40s) and always had a camera in the pocket, but only on the 2012 with his first real trip in the classical US southern parks he dressed up the clothes of the traveler with the passion for photography: of course that pictures are more memories than photos, but every road began somewhere and so, after stay one month in the cowboys lands, his way was signed and now he cannot see a single day without dreaming about which one will be his next flight!!!!


Words and images by Max Montella


The Canadian Rockies are a kind of dream for who, like me, travels with a camera in the backpack searching for the majesty of nature and after a lot of solo travels to the United States and, the last year, in the southernmost areas of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, now it was the time to put my feet in this incredible corner of the world, alone again...
My goal was, in addition to enjoying the views, to touch with my hands the possibility of going back there in winter times, maybe under a cloak of snow and with some green in the night sky!

A secondary spot on the Peyto Lake, Banff National Park
Spirit Island, a remote spor on the shores of Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park


I always travel in the turn of June to July and somewhere, like in this area of Canada, it's the time when winter goes away and the nature comes back to life, including animals: this is the biggest challenge, avoid animals, especially on the trails, hiking alone is not recommended and during this period a lot of animals take care also of their cubs...

I overcame this challenge avoiding remote areas where entry was prohibited and being the more noisy as possible where I could do it exactly like rangers teach, a good anti-bear spray tied to the belt and no much food in the backpack, just the bare essentials.

Mama (Black) Bear eating with her two cubs, Icefields Parkway


I like night photography and some nights it was difficult to go take some pics - the weather was not very gentle every night, but I could enjoy 3 or 4 good nights to look up to the sky and let me be dazzled by a roof of stars and when I got it to Moraine Lake, with a great Milky Way shining over the mountains... I think it's superfluous explain more of that night!!!

What surprised me more of this adventure is the sense of smallness that you can feel in the Rockies, they really look at you from above... they are majestic!!!
I don't love sweets and the pastry very much otherwise I should say “of course, maple syrup” so I can tell you that if you like meat you will be totally satisfied!!!

A glorious Milky Way over the Ten Mountains on Moraine Lake, Banff National Park


Like a traveler, a camper and a hiker I can suggest to get ready to face up to every kind of weather, you are on the mountains and in the same day you could see clouds, rain, sun, rain, clouds, warm, cold and so on... so dress in layers and be sure to have with you something about wind and/or waterproof.

Be sure to read the notices at the beginning of every trail, also if it's a very touristy place you're in the nothing and in the most areas there is no phone covering so don't risk to go where you cannot, don't risk dangerous spotting of wildlife and don't risk for your safety: it's very difficult for you to call and get helps!
Take always with you a anti-bear spray and, if you can, don't walk alone in the wilderness, but overall: there are so many trails and paths that you don't need to go out of them, so let the nature grow wild and stay on trails!!!

Like a photographer, I can tell that you will find every kind of beauty for your eyes and lenses, from incredible landscapes to wildlife, the beauty of the little kiddies and the irresistible charm of the road, that Icefields Parkway, named from Unesco “The most beautiful road of the world”; take with you all you have and you'll see that you'll be happy by using every piece of your equipment!!!

The Three Sisters reflecting in Policeman Creek in a shy sunrise, Banff National Park


You can find Max' work on his website, Instagram and Facebook



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