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Back to the Future - Drought Mountain

2018-09-29-at-18-00-23 Sneaky place for a pond on Drought Mountain

On April 27th I popped down to Vancouver Island to shoot a FortisBC + BC Ferries LNG bunkering. Here's a photo of the bridge of a BC Ferries vessel which is totally irrevelevant to this blog post but cool.

The bridge has a mirror image with red LED's on the other side - depending which direction it is sailing. Very Star Trekish. 

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Twin Lakes

2018-09-18-at-14-27-32 Ice cold colours of the lower Twin Lake

The Monashee's are a gem that remain pristine considering their proximinty to the Okanagan Valley. I know of 6 appealing hikes  based around Cherryville that are between 2-3 hours from Kelowna. There are more than that but some don't interest me as they are of similar distance without the reward of a sexy summit, alpine lake, or spectacular view.

Twin Lakes is the easiest of all these hikes and I think this is my fifth trip to this location. Some of the photos were pulled from other trips as the weather was better.

It's about 2:15 from Kelowna and a one way hike of 1:45. A logging road that requires a bit of clearance but not a four wheel drive takes you up to 1790m. The trail starts with a long up-hill which is always a bit of a grunt when you're not warmed up. Alongside the trail are lots of blueberries which make for satisfying rest stops. If you're fit you could likely do this whole trail without taking a break at all.

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Miserable Mission


In the summer of 2013 I hiked into Divide Lake in Okanagan Mountain Park on a cell tower access road. Divide is a  narrow lake near the summit that's wedged between two large rocks that resulted from some unpleasant tectonic rumblings. We spent the night at Divide lake and then dropped down the western slopes for 90 minutes to Baker Lake. It's the largest lake in the 10,000 hectare park and has a delighful little tent spot. It's ridiculously remote and terribly appealing.

Divide Lake

Filthy Divide Cabin

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Dangling a Carrot on Canada Day

Finally got up Carrot Mountain in West Kelowna. Most hiking friends of mine have been up there and most seem to agree that it's a grunt.

Compounding the grunt factor was the camera baggage. I was somewhere around 70lbs. Fortunately there is a waterfall about half way up that we were able to fill extra water bottles at so we didn't have to pack all the water all the way. This water source seemed to appear and disappear as we hiked. I suspect it is spring fed but we used the water for cooking and coffee and boiled it. The mosquitos in the valley on the hike up were positivley horrific.

Once up top the southerly views are great over West Kelowna. The wind was absolutely howling so we were forced to camp away from the cliff edge to get some shelter.

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City views from McDougall Rim


McDougall Rim is the prominent mountain to the west that can be seen from pretty much anywhere in Kelowna. It's gentle slope rises up to 1400m and is home to Hayman Lake which is actually more of a swamp. Below McDougall Rim is Rosevalley Resevoir which is a popluar hiking and biking destination. This is a sweet hike with spectacular views starting just after the 2km mark. It's a well used single track trail that climbs quite conistantly. It's not terribly steep but is long if you go to the top. There's no potible water and it's bear country so be prepared.

Hiking access to McDougall Rim starts off of Bentley Rd. in West Kelowna above Bylands Nursery. After a couple of kilometres of private road you come to an obvious parking lot at the cattleguard. Mutliple atv/4x4 trails head up the hill to your right (north). If you stay right you'll find a well groomed hiking trail that winds its way up but it is much shorter to head straight up and you will eventually bump into the main hiking trail. 


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Drone flying above Peachland

2018-05-08-at-15-24-03 Above Antler Beach Drone Okanagan

 My latest piece of video production equipment is a drone which is also known as a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) or a UAS (Unmanned Aerial System). To fly a drone commercially requires much more behind-the-scenes than you might think. Especially if it weighs more than a kilogram. You need to have training which includes safety protocals, aviation weather knowledge, knowledge of Transport Canada aviation regulations, Restricted Operators License - Aeronautical for a radio and more. You need a medical form from a doctor, a visual observer to be with you to help maintain security of the operation area and watch for hazards including other aircraft. You need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada which (at this point in time) requires an application for every commercial flight. These applications take as many as 22 business days to get approved. You must have maintenance procedures in place and documented as well as a current flight log. It's a lot of work but the opportunities and footage that can be obtained are pretty cool. 

 The places I can train and recreationally fly my drone in Kelowna are very limited. Most of Kelowna falls within Class D airspace as seen in the picture above so when learning to fly a drone I needed to venture off into the boonies. The Regional District of The Central Okanagan's Parks and all of the City of Kelowna's and West Kelowna's parks are no fly zones without permission. 

 As of late I've been getting out as much as possible to practice flying and train the visual observers I'll be working with. In the opening shot of the video below I'm using an advanced feature involving waypoints. I can pre-fly the route and set waypoints with camera direction and hazards in mind. Upon completion the controller uploads the waypoints to the drone and it flies the route perfectly smoothly then hovers at the end of the route. Pretty cool.

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Dilworth Summit




This was my first venture out with my daughter this year. My daughter, her friend and myself spent the night on top of the peak of Dilworth Mountain. It’s super easy walking access on a windy paved road that climbs steeply up to the radio towers.

 Because my daughter brought her friend I stayed in a hammock nearby which has a built in mosquito net and the kids took the tent. It was the first ever time camping for the young lady accompanying us and she was very excited.

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