St. Mark’s Summit

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I’m back in British Columbia after spending a couple of months in the UK, and I can’t get over how incredibly beautiful it is here! Although I’d never forgotten, it really does re-emphasise how incredible it is here after being away for a while. The mountains, the water, the city, wow!

Here’s a shot I took looking west from St Mark’s Summit in September, which is the first major viewpoint along the Howe Sound Crest Trail which runs all the way from Cypress Provincial Park to Porteau Cove. Although St Mark’s Summit only takes a few hours to do as a round trip, it’s still a bit of a climb with a bag full of camera equipment and a heavy tripod, with lots of tree roots waiting to trip you up. However, when you get to the top, the view is spectacular!

The north tip of Bowen Island can be seen on the left, with Bowyer Island in front of it and Keats Island behind it. Roughly in the middle is Gambier Island, with Anvil Island on the right. In the background is the Sunshine Coast, and just visible on the horizon is part of Vancouver Island.

As this was my first trip to this viewpoint, I didn’t want to risk making the hike back in the dark, so I wasn’t able to wait for sunset. I tend to avoid HDR where possible, but in this situation it was essential to be able to capture the wide range of brightness due to shooting into the sun. To get the width of this vista I took four sequences of bracketed images and stitched them together. While I’d love to have been able to shoot this at sunset, I really wanted to share this shot as it sums up my feelings on returning to this amazing part of the world!

howe sound mountains panorama
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