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Bio


About me

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Bio


About me

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I'm Sam McKoy; a guide, owner and operator of Chilko & Ipsoot, student, photographer and adventurer.


With the help of mentors and inspiring individuals, I’ve had the privilege of starting in the outdoor guiding industry at a young age. Work and play has allowed me to explore and experience various mountain ranges and wild places.

This includes the Columbia Mountains of Interior BC, the Canadian Rockies, Alaska’s Wrangell and Chugach Mountains, the Selwyn Mountains of Yukon and North West Territories, peaks of Hokkaido, Japan and especially the extensive Coast Mountain Range.

 

Where I'm from

I was born and raised in Whistler and following that, Pemberton. The Sea-to-Sky Corridor from Squamish to Pemberton is and continues to be, home base.  Where mountains and ocean meet is an incredibly special climate and the temperate rainforests, wild valleys and defiant mountain tops make the area a hard place to leave for long. Growing up in the area has created a deep connection to the environment around me and I hope to give back to the Sea to Sky Corridor over the years. 

 
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Certifications

  • ACMG Ski Guide
  • ACMG Hiking Guide
  • Professional Member of the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA)
  • NOLS Mountaineering & Hiking Instructor
  • Swiftwater Technician Level 1 (Rescue Level 3)
  • Assistant Bear Viewing Guide with Canadian Bear Viewing Association (CBVA)
  • 80+ Hour Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and CPR-C

 

What I study

From September till December I study at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George to attain a BSc in Natural Resource Management. My specialization, in regards to land use, is in Outdoor Recreation and Conservation. I hope to be able to play my part in applying my outdoor experience to the decision making to the management of our parks, backyards and wild places.

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Over the years I've worked for various companies as a guide including:

Winter (ski guiding):

  • Bella Coola Heli-sports (5 years)
  • TLH Heli-skiing 
  • Hokkaido Powder Guides 
  • Canada West Mountain School 
  • Extremely Canadian 
  • Mountain Skills Academy 
  • Valkyr Adventures
  • Sol Mountain Lodge
  • Whitecap Alpine
  • Valhalla Mountain Touring
  • Assiniboine Lodge
  • CMH Gothics

Summer:

  • Tweedsmuir Park Lodge (5 years)
    • Hiking
    • Interpretive nature walks
    • Grizzly Bear Viewing
  • NOLS Alaska (1 year)
    • Hiking & Mountaineering Expeditions
  • NOLS Yukon (2 years)
    • Hiking and Mountaineering Expeditions

About the website

This website is about sharing. Sharing experiences, photographs, places, moments, pieces of writing and more. It also allows me to connect with others through this amazing tool that is the internet.

 

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Adventures and Expeditions


Adventures and Expeditions

Adventures and Expeditions


Adventures and Expeditions

Exploring wild places

Planning and imagining the trip is almost as fun as walking out the door.  The main challenge is to do all that imagination can inspire in only one lifetime. 

Expeditions of 2+ weeks include:

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There is a tremendous feeling that comes on a trip like this, with so much to see and so much to do and all of it unknown. Have you ever taken a dog on a hike? Well imagine yourself as the dog.
— John Baldwin

Photography


Photography


Photography

 

In the Moment: About my methods

I rarely go out with the mission of taking photos. Rather, I haul 5+ pounds of camera strapped to my chest as I ascend mountains, thrash through bush, ford rivers and ski steep descents on objectives. I've carried my camera on trips as long as 35 days. Not only that, my team mates aren't holding up for me; taking photos on these trips has to happen 'on the fly'. As a result, the subjects, action and composure are all as real as it gets. They are glimpses into mountain life.  

I'm constantly having to catch up, run ahead, out to the side with only a moment before the photo moment passes. Taking out the camera, dialling the focus, aperture and shutter speed all has to happen in an instant before the subjects move out of focus or before I have to catch up again. I estimate roughly 10-20 seconds are all I have to get the shot. It's not easy and it doesn't often turn out but I try anyways. 

Much of the visual content on this site is the result of capturing these scenes in the heat of the moment. I hope you're enjoying the photographs and I encourage that you visit different pages to view different galleries.


My equipment includes:

  • Nikon D7100 Body
  • Nikkor 15-140mm 3.5-5.5 (my all around lens; does the job in a versatile, lightweight package)
  • Nikkor 70-300mm 3.5-5.5 (its weight means it doesn't make it out the door as much)
  • Nikkor 35mm 1.8 (framing with a prime is challenging on skis so this lens is more commonly used in the summer)

Light is Right.

Hire

Photography may be supplied free of charge on guided trips at my discretion, the content and timeliness of delivery is not guaranteed. It can however be added to a guided trip for an additional fee and provided professionally. The nature of the guiding and the trip may dictate higher quality returns and fees are reflective of content delivered and the nature of the trip.

Prints

Photos of choice can be printed, framed or printed on canvas (my favourite) in various sizes. Has a photo caught your eye? Contact me about buying prints of my photographs. Shipping fees may apply as packages are sent from British Columbia. 

Example Canvas preview of one of my photos.

Example Canvas preview of one of my photos.

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Slideshows

Slideshows can be offered for free or at a price, situation dependent. In the past I have presented in Universities, High Schools and Film Festivals. Contact me to inquire.