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Mount Assiniboine

Elliott Chau


Behind the Shot

The “Matterhorn of Canada” received its nickname because of the obvious visual similarities between the famous pyramidal peak in the Alps and this peak in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. At 11,870 feet, Mount Assiniboine is the highest point in the Southern Continental Ranges of the Canadian Rockies. George M. Dawson named the peak in 1885 after the Assiniboine Indians, who lived nearby. The clouds trailing from the top of the peak reminded him of the smoke that rose from the nearby Assiniboine teepees.

During a September visit, Elliott expected to enjoy a three-night solo trip, photographing the first snowfall of the year. Instead he encountered other photographers he knew from Instagram who also picked this time to visit. The solo trip turned into a communal adventure. As Elliott recalls, “We were hiking every sunrise and sunset, and just having a great time. We’d just finished hiking for a sunrise photo that didn’t work out, though. It was foggy and the shot didn’t come out. The other photographers were pretty disappointed, but when we got back down to where we were staying, this view was waiting for us. Perfect mid-morning light was hitting the top of the Matterhorn of Canada, and the strong reflection on the lake was much more pronounced than it was earlier that morning. It all turned out perfectly.”