Posts tagged British Columbia

Far & Wide: A ‘Weekend In The Life’ With @EmanuelSmedbøl & @LittleBrownFox

Meet Emanuel Smedbøl and Megan McLellan, British Columbia natives known globally for their Instagram accounts @EmanuelSmedbol and @LittleBrownFox. From hiking epic mountains to finding the perfect campsites, this adventure couple knows how to enjoy their own backyard on nothing more than a student’s budget. Learn more about these two inspiring creatives in the interview below… (BONUS: Read till the bottom to enjoy the ultimate three-day British Columbia road trip itinerary created by Megan and Emanuel)

Photo: Destination BC
Photo: Destination BC

Caley Vanular: Firstly, tell me a little about yourselves? Who are you and where are you from?

Emanuel Smedbøl: I grew up in a little rural area in BC’s mountainous West Kootenays. It was a pretty idyllic place and my thoughts keep going back, and I try to get back for a month every summer. I first moved to Victoria for university, then later Vancouver to do a diploma in graphic design. I loved the city almost immediately — it seemed so big, so mysterious to a small town kid like me. The city has shrunk over the years as I got to know it better, and I carved out a little space for myself and my routine. But still, such a wonderful city.

Megan McLellan: I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC.  My parents thought that travel was an equally important form of education as school. So, I got used to leaving class and going somewhere with my family every few months. At the time, I didn’t appreciate how hard my parents worked to be able to do that with my family, but it definitely left an impression. I’ve prioritized travel and getting outdoors ever since. But as much as I love to travel internationally, British Columbia definitely still feels like home to me. I love how you can drive four hours in one direction and BC is a hot dry desert. Then, drive four hours in the other direction and BC is a lush wet rainforest with towering trees and a roaring ocean.

CV: The contrast of your backgrounds is so interesting. How did you two end up meeting?

ML: We met at a local Vancouver watering hole, the ANZA (Australian New Zealand Association) Club.

ES: It was pretty awkward TBH… we’re both quiet people and I was actually there with someone else. But that person disappeared and Megan liked my sweater and just sidled up and told me so and that was that. Actually not really. It took a lot of texts and cancelled plans before we hung out again. It took some work but it was worth it.

CV: What do you do for work that allows you to travel so frequently on the weekends?

ML: We both work as photographers (Emanuel also as a graphic designer) and are fortunate enough to sometimes get to travel through that. But we also just take any chance we get to go away, be it an overnighter close to home or a week long road trip.

CV: Megan, as a student at SFU, what are your tips for other students looking to go on more adventures?

ML: Haha, I actually craft my schedule so that I take as many classes as I can in as few days possible. Probably not the best plan for everybody. But if I can take four classes in two days it means I have the whole rest of the week off to potentially go away. But I’ve also been working on my degree off and on for so long now, I’ve taken a lot of semesters off to work or travel. Getting outside somehow always has a way of putting things in perspective, so I view making time for it as important as getting any assignments or essays done.

CV: Emanuel are you a freelancer? How do you find balancing work and play?

E:  I worked full time with a little non-profit straight out of college for a couple years, paid off the student loans, then took a summer off to go on an extended bicycle trek. Going back to work was a little more difficult after that… but freelancing has opened up possibilities quite a bit. I often try to work evenings or weekends so I can be out exploring or camping during weekdays when it’s quieter. There are lean years with more play than work but so far it’s worked out ok. These days, I’ve been adding adventure photography to my list of services, so that helps.

CV: Your blog Field & Forest is awe-inspiring; can you tell us how the blog came to fruition?

ML: Hey thanks! It was something we had been thinking about doing for a while. We wanted to create a space dedicated to showcasing photos that told a narrative, and share some of the stories that make adventure feel more approachable, more doable and more human.

Our trips are rarely perfect expeditions and a lot can go wrong. When possible, we wanted to share that side and make it feel more attainable and hopefully inspire other people as well. We want to let people know you don’t need to plan everything down to a T, but to always be as prepared as possible for the real elements of the wilderness.  If you forget your tent (in the summer), it’s ok: you’ll get a couple bug bites but you’ll feel that fresh forest wind all night.  You just might maybe potentially be better for it.

ES: We eventually started soliciting submissions and sharing other people’s adventure stories on a little side blog called The Journal. It’s been a very rewarding experience. There are so many great places to explore.

CV: On Field & Forest you mention that you wanted to create a space for people who, “aren’t extreme athletes or wealthy or whatever to have a good time outdoors” what inspired this?

ES: It was mostly inspired by feedback we got whenever we went on trips. When we rode our bicycles from Vancouver down to Mexico in 2010, people were just floored. We constantly got questions about how long we trained for or what type of fancy bikes we had, when in reality we pretty much just hopped on our old 10 speeds one day and went for it. When you think about it as a whole, yeah it was a long trip, but we took it just day by day, hill by hill, and it was so manageable. We wanted to share that you can make do with what you have — you don’t need any fancy stuff or a ripped bod or anything. Just a weekend off, some shoes, a sleeping bag, some snacks and a water bottle and you’re good. You can go virtually anywhere. Though maybe a boat would be good too.

CV: Have you two always been into photography? Did Instagram have anything to do with your interest in Photography?

ES: I’ve liked taking photos for a long time. I first picked up my dad’s old film camera in grade 10 and loved it straight away. I went through a long string of half broken camera bodies before getting a DSLR… but then it was so big and so heavy that I rarely took it anywhere. Instagram definitely changed that. My photos never really had much of an audience before, and getting feedback provided drive and purpose. For the first couple years I just shot on an IPhone, then I doubled up shooting both IPhone and camera, then said to heck with that and now mostly just shoot on a camera.

ML: I never really started taking photos until I met Emanuel, or not seriously anyway. I had a film camera that I used a bit when I went on trips but that was it. After Emanuel and I biked down south I started thinking about photography a bit more. And, truth be told it was mostly because I was tired of waiting for him all the time. We would get to a destination and I would see it in 30 minutes and it would take him three hours. I joined Instagram just for fun, but it turned out to be really helpful for getting feedback and learning from others.

CV: Where are some of your favourite weekend trips in British Columbia? Can you share some images of your favourite places?

ML: Oh there are so many good places! From Vancouver, we have easy access to Tofino, the Gulf Islands, the mountains, the Fraser Canyon and the Cascades around Hope. You can literally head off in any direction. We are big believers in taking ‘extra loooong’ weekends whenever you can. Even if you only have one night there are so many great hikes and quick camping spots to check out.

ES: But really the whole province is pretty beautiful. We’re actually writing this from the road, we’re on a two-month road trip up to see Northern BC for the first time! We’re only on day five but it already feels like we’re running out of time, there are so many places we want to see.

ML: Here are seven of our favourite places in British Columbia:

1: Tofino / Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

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“We love the wet west coast weather, the raw feel of the elements, the wave-battered beaches, islands, and lush rainforests.”

2: Yoho National Park

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“Stunning mountain trails and lakes with peacock hues of greens, turquoise, blues.”

3: St Marks Summit on Vancouver’s North Shore / Cypress Provincial Park

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“One of our favourite local hikes! Beautiful views down into Howe Sound.”

4: Lake Lovely Water in Tantalus Provincial Park

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“The Tantalus Mountains are a familiar sight on the Sea to Sky Hwy to Whistler but are kind tricky to get to (hence the name). You either have to crawl across a raging glacier river on a little wire or hire a helicopter to get up. But either way, it’s worth it”

5: The Nemiah Valley in BC’s Chilcotin

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“I learned a bit about this area in one of my anthropology classes in university. Very fascinating history, and was essentially isolated from the rest of BC until the 1970s. It has a lot of wild horses and BC’s largest alpine lake and some mighty stunning mountains”

6: The Valhalla Mountains

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“The mountains I first cut my teeth on in BC’s interior. These mountains will always be home.”

7: Canoeing down the Slocan Lake

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“We do this as a family trip with my mum every summer. 5 days of canoeing down the lake, sleeping on beaches and swimming a lifetime’s worth of swims. It can’t be beat.”

CV: All the locations in your images are so impressive. What does a long ‘weekend in the life’ look like for you two? Can you create a three-day trip for the readers?

ML: One trip we’re saving for a rainy day is the Coast Mountain Circle Loop. It’s close to Vancouver and about easy three days in a car if you don’t stop for overnight hikes along the way (of which there are plenty!). You pass through some pretty interesting terrain. Should be a good one! And if anyone ends up doing it before us, feel free to send us any tips or recommendations!

 

Day 1:

Where to go: Drive north up the Sea to Sky (HWY 99) through Squamish and Whistler to Pemberton.

Where to stay: One of the little Forest Recreation sites north of town.

What to do: Stop and marvel at the cascading islands and mountains plunging into Howe Sound. Stop and hike the Stawamus Chief. Stop and check out the trails into Garibaldi and then take a gondola up Whistler Blackcomb.

What to eat: Start with a big breakfast at home then eat crackers and cheese for the rest of the day. Or if you’ve been extra good maybe you deserve lunch at Fergie’s in Squamish.

What to pack: Hiking boots, maps, a tent and lots of snacks!

 

Day 2:

Where to go: Continue east on Hwy 99 towards Lillooet, then take Hwy 12 south to Lytton.

Where to stay: Camp out on the side of a quiet desert road listening to lonely coyote calls.

What to do: Take a detour down to Lillooet Lake for a soak in the hot springs or hike up and see the turquoise waters and glaciers of Joffre Lakes. Or, take a long look down the arid Seton Lake valley. There are a lot of lakes! But save time for the Fraser Canyon — we haven’t been down this section but it’s probably really very nice.

What to eat: Oatmeal and apples for breakfast, more crackers and cheese for lunch, hot pasta and broccoli for dinner.

 

Day 3:

Where to go: From Lytton hop onto the Trans Canada which will take you way back to Vancouver. Or, you can jump off the freeway at Hope onto Hwy 7 for a quieter route through some of Vancouver’s more scenic suburbs.

What to do: Stop and swim in the chain of lakes at Nahatlatch Provincial Park. See the boiling roiling rapids of Hells Gate. Peruse for antiques and goat skulls at the Yale Community Flea Market. Have another swim in Silver Lake National Park just north of Hope. Drive up the rough road to Jones Lake for some beautiful mountain views.

What to eat: Fried chicken and waffles at Fat Jacks in Boston Bar! Then save your appetite for a big sushi dinner back in Vancouver.

Far & Wide: Exploring Hot Springs Cove

Tofino is a magical little peninsula located on the west side of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. If you haven’t been, think pristine beaches, small town, and epic surfing. Often I find myself daydreaming how simple life could be as a Tofino surf bum… wake up, surf, get breakfast, surf, get lunch, take a nap and then… the crux of the day: surf and sleep or hit Shelter Restaurant and socialize into the night.

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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora

For committed surf bums, this is enough entertainment to last a lifetime. For those on the brink, this routine can make you go a little loopy. That is why it is important to break free (like Ariana Grande), hop on a boat or plane and pop the bubble the beach dwelling culture affords. From water or sky (we recommend both), view the pristine coastline and many magical islands surrounding Tofino, and realize how expansive of a place Vancouver Island really is.

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Or at least, this was the case for me… I had spent so much time in Tofino surfing, eating and house partying but had never ventured farther than the surf break. To change this, I grabbed some friends and set out to Hot Springs Cove. If you have a boat (a real boat not an explorer 3000) you can go out without a tour, but if you are like most of us, to get there you will have to join a tour. We signed up with Ocean Outfitters on their boat & fly package to the Hot Springs Cove, talk about setting up for #TumblrGold! On our way there we weaved through the islands and into the open water. While venturing 27 nautical miles north-west of Tofino, we saw grey whales breaching, spouts of water spewing and seals lounging on their private islands. It was like we received a bonus wildlife boat tour on the way to the dock that marks the start of the trail to the hot springs.

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The walk in is half the fun, the trees are so beautiful and the path is a hovering deck that journeys above the forest floor with carved out messages from previous visitors. It is easy to get lost in the surroundings as you venture through the rainforest towards the springs. Eventually, you can start to smell the sulphur and see the steam rise from a waterfall to the left. Excitement sets in and we ended up semi sprinting to drop the bags and get our butts down to the cove for some good ol’ BC hot springin’. The hot Springs are nestled in a cove of rocks rushing out from the waterfall above, here is where we parked ourselves. There were so many hidden nooks that it was easy for the other groups to find a secluded area to warm their bodies in the natural hot spring. The feeling you get from Hot Springs is amazing, if you have never experienced it, this gem is a wonderful place to try for your first time.

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Photo: Nathaniel Atakora

After some serious soaking, we headed back to the docks to wait for our float plane. This was almost the best part. I had never been in a float plane, so the surreal experience of boarding a plane floating on water and sitting so closely to the pilot was unreal. We lucked out and had a perfectly clear day, allowing us to shoot photos of all the islands littering the coastline.

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Like all good things, the 20-minute flight came to an end and we walked away with an SD card full of heaters and smiles from ear to ear.

Thinking about travelling to Tofino? Here are 5 must do’s to help you better plan your trip:
1) Stay here: Pacific Sands
2) Eat here: Shelter Resturant
3) Don’t do this: Stress about finding WIFI or Cell Service… it can wait.
4) Do this: Check out all the local shops, cafes, and the brewery along the main road. My favourites are Tofino Coffee Co., Merge, Storm Surf Shop and The Tofino Brewing Company.
5) Try this: Surfing… don’t let the cold water scare you!

Like the photos in this post? Check out more photography from Nathaniel Atakora on his Instagram.

Want to see this full post on Far & Wide, Click here.

Destination BC: The Audain Art Museum

On March 12, 2016, Canada’s newest art museum, the Audain Art Museum, opened in Whistler, BC. A building like no other, The Audain Museum transports you from the iconic ski town into a surreal space of ‘modern-forest’. The spectacular 5,203 m2 (56,000 sq ft) building was designed by Patkau Architects with the intention that, “The museum will be quietly inserted into a void within the forest,” explains architect John Patkau.

The walkway leading to the Audain Art Museum in Whistler A look at the modern architecture of the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. Photo: Caley VanularA long, narrow hallway in the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. Photo: Caley VanularA mask in the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. Photo: Caley Vanular

This objective is completely achieved with the build. The windows inside only expose forest and mountains, engulfing you in a quite and crisp atmosphere, ensuring you feel like you are outside of reality. Take some time and wander down the long hallways to experience the open rooms and flow throughout the museum with ease.

Admiring the art in the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. Photo: Caley VanularThe open spaces of the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. Photo: Caley VanularExploring art on the walls of the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. Photo: Caley Vanular

Explore the endless amounts of iconic art, as Canada’s newest ‘Class A’ art museum houses a large portion of the personal art collection that Michael Audain and his wife Yoshiko Karasawa have amassed over the past 40 years. This astonishing Northwest Coast art collection is on permanent display at the museum, while a temporary exhibition wing hosts a rotation of exhibitions featuring Canadian and international art.

A quaint sitting area in the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. Photo: Caley Vanular

If you are headed to the museum for the opening exhibition, plan on experiencing the art of BC through everything from traditional First Nations pieces, to the work of contemporary masters including Emily Carr, E.J. Hughes, Stan Douglas, Rodney Graham, Jeff Wall and Ian Wallace. While you are visiting, be sure not to miss the temporary collection of Mexican Modernist works by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco, known as Los Trés Grandes. Combined, the exhibitions create a unique cultural and education experience.

Emily Carr (1871-1945) The Crazy Stair (The Crooked Staircase), c. 1928-30 Oil on canvas 110.2 x 65.7 cm Audain Art Museum Collection, 2013.014. Photo courtesy of Heffel.com

The exterior of the Audain Art Museum in Whistler. Photo: Caley Vanular

Quick Facts about the Audain Art Museum:

  • Open from 10 am to 5 pm, six days a week. Closed on Tuesdays
  • 5,203 sq m (56,000 sq ft) building designed by Patkau Architects
  • One of Western Canada’s largest museums
  • Class A Art Museum
  • Home to Emily Carr’s 1928 painting The Crazy Stair, worth $3,393,000 (the highest paid dollar amount for a work by a Canadian woman artist and the fourth most expensive work of art at an art auction in Canada)
  • Endowment fund is $7.5 million, to-date, with the aim of it eventually reaching $25 million

How to Get There:

The Audain Art Museum is located at 4350 Blackcomb Way in Whistler. Parking is available in the day lots. For directions to the museum, click here.

To learn more about the Audain Art Museum, visit their website at www.audainartmuseum.com.

Related links:
Arts, Culture and History in Whistler, British Columbia

Destination Canada: The Unofficial Mayor of Whistler

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Known as the ‘Unofficial Mayor’ of Whistler, Rube Goldberg made his mark on the world-renowned ski town for his notable snowboarding, extensive backcountry knowledge, and overall amazing personality. Living in Whistler, British Columbia for over 20 years, Rube developed a way to make the ‘ski bum’ lifestyle a sustainable reality. In the first portion of his Whistler life, Rube worked as a professional snowboarder exploring the Whistler backcountry by snowmobile and filming video parts. As Rube transitioned out of professional snowboarding, he focused his skills on guiding the next generation of snowboarders, owning a painting company and property managing. His love for the town and ability to adapt to new roles has helped him create a comfortable community and the accessibility to snowboard everyday.

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Rube Goldberg – Ruckus In The Rockies by Transworld Snowboarding

We sat down with Rube to learn about his productive 2014 season, favorite things about Whistler and his plans for the upcoming season…

Rube, where are you from originally? I am from Hudson, Quebec, Canada.

Where did you spend the most time snowboarding in Quebec? I grew up riding at Mt. Riguad and Mt. Saint Sauveur.

How many years have you been snowboarding? I’ve been snowboarding since 1988.

What inspired you to make the move from Quebec to Whistler? I moved out to Whistler in ’95. I just needed a break from school. I was originally planning on only taking a year off, but that plan fell apart quick.

How did you first get into the Whistler backcountry? Well I was a park rat to start, and then one day I was invited to go for a hike around Whistler and Blackcomb and jump off cliffs and hit big jumps with my friend Rick Johnston for his new movie. Pretty sure his company was called FaceShot Productions. It was awesome! The next year I bought a snowmobile and tried to hang with Treetop Films. They were definitely pushing snowboarding in the backcountry back then. It was not easy to hang. I slowly progressed and from there went on to shoot with a bunch of other crews over the years. Neoproto, Kidsknow, Brainwash, Whiteout, Sandbox.

Did you know anyone living in Whistler before making the big move? I had a few friends that had lived here before I came. They showed me where Tommy Africa’s was!

Can you tell us the top five things you love about Whistler?

  1. The mountains.
  2. The proximity to the mountains.
  3. The proximity to Vancouver.
  4. The snow.
  5. The people.

What are your top five restaurants in Whistler?

  1. The Furniture Warehouse – Cheap food, good people, good vibe.
  2. Samurai Sushi – Quick, easy and tasty.
  3. Splitz Burger – Best burger in town.
  4. Earls – Great company.
  5. Rim Rock – Amazing food.

Where are your favorite places to ride backcountry in Canada? Whistler and Revelstoke.

Where is your favorite place to go Heli-Boarding in Canada? Whistler. Next question.

This year you filmed for The Pathology Project, how did that happen? My good friends Bryan Fox and Austin Smith always come to town and make me do things that I don’t want to do anymore. I can never say no, so I hung out and threw my body around for a few days. The film crew was massive and mixed with skiers and snowboarders just doing what we love to do… Play in the snow!

What are your plans for next year? Will you film a snowboard part again? Well I’m definitely going to keep playing in the snow. If somebody wants to film it then I guess I’ll be filming again.

In the meantime, enjoy some classic videos of Rube snowboarding below…

Shine On – Sandbox Films Trailer
Etienne Gilbert and Rube Goldberg segment in “Sugar Shack”
Kevin Sansalone & Rube Goldberg – Time Well Wasted

Well Travelled: Squamish, British Columbia

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Rebecca Bundschuh is a widely published wedding photographer and mother of two based out of Squamish, Canada. Enjoy her words and images below as she shares a recent outing through the expansive natural playground that is Squamish in this special kids edition of Well Travelled…This is the next generation. Nature is what feeds their energy, flowing through them like the raging rivers. The wind fills their lungs and the mountain ranges ground them. This is their backyard and playground. This is Squamish.

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A nature walk in our own backyard.

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X marks the spot

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Best way to stay warm.. skip to my loo

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Got to keep moving

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On a mission to find the perfect picnic spot

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Our playground is magic

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Always moving

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Endless beauty

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New found treasures

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Nature is what surrounds us and defines us

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The view is always better from up top

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Wild thing in the wilderness

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Colors like no other

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A closer look

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Home is where the heart is

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The perfect pack for our treasures

Enjoyed Squamish? Explore the rest of the Well Travelled series or view more of Rebecca’s photography here.

Grouse Parks | Wanted: February 2014

Wanted February- Caley Vanular

#ITSFINALLYSNOWINGFEBRUARY. This month has been insane for snow in British Columbia. With powder on the brain, it’s time to rethink your gear selection. This February update your kit with the Torah Bright Luminous Jacket from Roxy and this sweet Clark II hat from Brixton. With all the snow you will be boarding it is essential to have the right pants. Don’t waist your time tucking in your shirt when you could be chillin’ in the Glisten Bib from Roxy. Once you have your pants on, grab some Celtek Calypso gloves and a pair of  Wonderland glasses for the apré scene. Stop complaining about pressure points and heavy boards, switch over to new bindings, now and while you are at it try out some new snowboard shapes like this women’s tapered directional from Nitro.

 

Have fun in the mountains!

Caley V