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Unexpected O’Hara

Elliott Chau


Behind the Shot

The story behind this photograph has all the elements of a classic adventure: grand plans, epic destinations, mortal danger and macaroni and cheese.

Elliott’s adventure began one July afternoon in 2018. “We set out to get sunset shots of Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park. After an uneventful four-hour hike, we arrived at the location just as the sun was going down. We shot for a little bit, enjoyed some music, had some fun, ate mac and cheese cooked on a camping stove and just had a great time. Our heads then cleared and we realized that we still had a four-hour hike out ahead of us. We packed up, and headed out for our return.

“About an hour into the hike back, disaster struck. I twisted my ankle badly. I was hurt, I couldn’t put any weight on my ankle, and there was no one around to help us. We tried yelling for help, but other than the bears and wolves and who knows what else, we were totally alone.”

What should have taken four hours was now into a sixth hour. “My friend supported my weight as we slowly made our way back. We finally reached the car sometime after 4 a.m. We were completely exhausted and decided to just crash in the car.

“At the end of the day, though, it was one of my favorite experiences, and I got a great story to tell.”