Jackie LaRouche Photography

When my alarm went off at 2:15 am for Hayley and Hessel’s Kananaskis sunrise photoshoot, I wasn’t sluggish. Today was going to be an epic day! After a quick coffee and some toast, we were off to the trailhead for Smutwood in Kananaskis Country (or Peter Lougheed Provincial Park). The washboard road was pretty bad and took us more time than expected. We finally arrived at the parking lot and set out on the trail to the ridge.

As we made our way through the sleepy valley, we were on high alert for bears as the cool air reminded us that this was the time of year they are quite grumpy and looking to eat as much as they can. Once we reached the plateau, we were all glad we brought extra layers. Hayley and Hessel quickly made the choice to take some photos on the saddle of Mount Smuts and Birdwood, as the sun was already turning the hazy sky alight with pink hues. Both of them braved the cold winds coming over the pass and changed into their dress attire. For this part of the shoot, Hayley chose a cute chiffon dress that perfectly matched the colours in the sky.

After taking some time on the saddle, we had a snack and some water before making our final ascent to the summit of Mount Smutwood. The smoke from the fires in Penticton, BC was strong as we made our way to the summit where Hayley and Hessel again changed into their dress outfits for ridgeline photos. We spent some time on the summit before making our way back the way we came.

All in all, this was an absolutely stunning morning for a Kananaskis sunrise photoshoot. I can’t wait to make it back to Smutwood to complete Birdwood and the other mountains in the Kananaskis area.