Squamish–based photographer Chris Christie has extensive experience shooting in hard-to-reach places. We asked him to pick two shots for our Double Shot photographer showcase, and write some lines about how and where he shot them.
“Every place has its unique attributes that demand full respect,” says Christie. “A while back I was invited to shoot Tim Emmett and Klemen Premrl at Helmcken Falls on their ice-climbing project called Wolverine – the world’s first WI 11.
On arrival at Wells Gray Park I could feel my anxiety building. I knew this place was going to be a test mentally and a supreme challenge keeping my equipment dry.
As we descended into the basin the first thing that came into my mind was: ‘Beautiful Nightmare.’
The sound and the visual of the 500-ft waterfall thundering into the bottomless ice cave was absolutely shocking. The idea of walking underneath the hanging features, some the size of a bus, was easily the most intimidating place I have put myself. To access some shooting angles I had to crawl over some of these features that had dropped from the ceiling the day before. I darted from safe zone to safe zone. I wanted to look up but running in crampons with ice debris on the surface made this impossible.
The day I was in there it was unusually warm but I soon had a thick coating of ice encased over my body from the spray freezing onto my clothing. In the course of a few hours I slowly adapted to my surroundings and was able to take in the Dr. Seuss–like cartoon landscape and capture images of these guys climbing in an unlikely environment. Beautiful Nightmare!”