Kicking Horse Culture
Alpinists flock from all over the globe to hike, climb and ski amongst the Bugaboos, the granite nunataks that sprout from one of the largest glacier systems in the Purcell range.
On Jan. 13 at 5p.m., the Art Gallery of Golden will launch a travelling photo exhibit, The Bugaboos – A Celebration in Story & Image, to commemorate BC Parks’ centennial, and the natural and human history of Bugaboo Provincial Park.
The exhibit will be on display in the Art Gallery of Golden from Jan. 13, to March 3.
As the curator for the exhibit, Wilmer photographer Pat Morrow was delighted to receive submissions from both professional and amateur photographers living on both sides of the Purcells, and beyond.
Locals Darcy Monchak, Jon Walsh, Cheryl Goodwin (formerly of Golden, now in Fairmont), Morrow and 23 others, contributed a few dozen images with text which are reproduced in a dozen 3’x4’ “interpretive” panels.
The extended captions describe their personal experiences in the Bugaboos, whether they are first time visitors or veterans who have sought both refuge and challenge there.
Goodwin’s job as custodian of the Conrad Kain Hut, put her in unique situations that are reflected in her photographic interpretations. Walsh’s frequent visits to tackle the most difficult routes in the Bugaboos yielded the most elegant of the climbing photos.
Monchak’s trademark “I wish I was there” scenics, and Morrow’s “humans in nature” photos help provide context.
Albert MacCarthy who lived on the K2 Ranch near Invermere nearly a century ago shot the very first climbing photos in the Bugaboos, which are aptly featured on the exhibit’s opening panels.
In 1916, “Mac” and his wife Bess hired Wilmer guide Conrad Kain to lead them to the tops of several of the unclimbed and unnamed peaks, and Mac’s folding Kodak camera recorded the expedition for posterity.
BC Parks climbing ranger Tay Hanson, also a contributor to the exhibit, is effusive when it comes to describing how his granite skyscraper “workplace” is represented in words and photos, “This collection of images and prose from some of the most dedicated of Bugaboo admirers invokes powerful feelings and reminds us of how much we owe our high ranges for mirroring the wilderness within.”
Morrow says he hopes that, “this exhibit will provide the impetus for one and all to explore this gem of a park in their big backyard, with or without cameras, and discover for themselves the challenge of the heights and the nurturing effect of nature.”
The exhibit was initiated by a significant grant from the Province of B.C. as part of BC Parks 100 – Arts in the Parks program with sponsorship support from Columbia Basin Trust, Canadian Mountain Holidays and Kicking Horse Coffee.
The exhibit, the catalogue and the online exhibit were designed by John McLachlan of Full Bleed Arts Marketing and produced by Kicking Horse Culture for the Art Gallery of Golden.