The Adventure

Canadian Geographic's Neil Ever Osborne to lead photography workshop

Posted by Sarah Pearson on Mon, Jul 08, 2013

Teaming up with the Canadian Geographic Photo Club, CMH is pleased to announce a 2013 photography workshop geared toward outdoor enthusiasts.  Taking place September 7 – 10, 2013, acclaimed photographer Neil Ever Osborne, along with CMH hiking guides, will lead workshop guests into the remote reaches of the Canadian Rockies to view some of the most photogenic landscapes in the world. 

CMH Photography Workshop

Inspired by his passion for visual storytelling,Neil Ever Osborne provides three days of photography instruction. He shares his talents and knowledge during this workshop amid many visually stunning landscapes within the Bugaboo Mountain ranges, areas accessible only by daily helicopter flights. Guests have the opportunity to photographically capture September’s brilliant blue skies, snow-capped peaks and craggy mountains, glistening rivers and lakes, baring witness to and documenting the glorious change of alpine scenery as it slowly transitions into autumn.  

CMH Bugaboo LodgeLocated beneath towering granite spires, the dramatic CMH Bugaboo Lodge serves as homebase for participants. Each evening, guests relax in alpine inspired accommodations while enjoying freshly prepared gourmet cuisine.  Workshop participants share and discuss their photography with fellow hikers and while Osborne further guides guests in discovering their storytelling ability through the exploration of photographic composition.

Spaces on this workshop are limited. Click here to learn more about this unique landscape photography workshop  or contact CMH Reservations at 1-800-661-0252.

Tags: Speaker Series, CMH Summer Adventures, Bugaboo Lodge, Painting & Photo Workshops, photography, Educational Travel

Plein Air Painting and Photography Workshops with CMH

Posted by Jane Carswell on Thu, Apr 25, 2013

A picture tells a thousand words and whether that picture is created with pixels or a paintbrush, CMH Summer Adventures guests in the Bugaboos will have no shortage of subject matter.
brianirwin Banff Bugaboos 2012 1715 Edit MCMH offers these themed trips at CMH Bugaboo Lodge in 2013:
Photography Workshop with John E. Marriott | Aug 5-8, 2013
Professional landscape photographer and easy-going instructor John E. Marriott joins CMH for his fourth annual Bugaboo Photography Workshop. With an instructor to participant ratio of 1:10, this three-day workshop allows photographers to develop skills on close-up, mid-range and long-range landscape photography with as much instruction as desired. For a sample of the participants photography from last year's workshop, view this online photo gallery »
Painting Workshop with Robert Genn | Aug 23-26, 2013
Acclaimed Canadian artist Robert Genn joins us again in the Bugaboos with his daughter, artist Sarah Genn and CMH's own artist/guide Liz Wiltzen. This is a wonderful opportunity for plein air painters to learn and discuss with one of Canada's finest painters.
Canadian Geographic's Photo Club | Sep 7-10, 2013
Canadian Geographic's Photo Club comes together this fall in the Bugaboo mountain range to hike and photograph with like-minded photographers. Participants need not be a Photo Club member to join. This program provides no instructor, just a chance to explore the mountains at a pace conducive to landscape photography.
Non-artists are welcome to join any of these departures as well and join our classic Heli-Hiking and walking program each day, while sharing evenings together back at the lodge.
For more information on these workshops or any other CMH Summer Adventures, give CMH Reservations a call (1-800-661-0252), or email us.

Photo: Bugaboo Spires, 
Best Trophy Shot - Photographer Brian Irwin

Tags: Bugaboo Lodge, Painting & Photo Workshops

CMH Summer Adventures Welcomes Photography Enthusiasts

Posted by Jane Carswell on Wed, Jan 09, 2013

For photographers looking for spectacular locations,  CMH Summer Adventures offers access to some glorious hidden gems in Western Canada.  Pack your camera equipment, hop aboard the helicopter and our guides will take you to places alive with colour and texture where the only sound you’ll hear will be shutters snapping.

In 2013, CMH Summer Adventures offers two photography-themed trips to choose from.  Each trip is based from the luxurious Bugaboo Lodge in southeastern BC tucked into a corner of the Columbia Mountain Range.  The lodge is ideally situated to pair your stay with time spent exploring the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks (Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho) to get your camera, and eyes, attuned to the wonders and beauty of western Canada.

Photography Workshops with CMH Summer Adventures

Bugaboo Photography Workshop with John E. Marriott, Wilderness Photographer

Join acclaimed Canadian photographer John E. Marriott for an intensive three-day workshop in the Bugaboos.  John will provide instruction on how best to capture trophy shots and intimate detail of the dramatic landscape in the Bugaboos.  Photo locations will range from ridgelines to the shores of alpine lakes.

Limited to 10 photographers.          August 8-11, 2013            $3,140 Cdn

Canadian Geographic PhotoClub Bugaboo Heli-Hiking Adventure

Open to all photo enthusiasts, this three-day trip in the Bugaboos will focus on providing hikers and walkers access to spectacular landscapes for photography. No formal instruction will be provided, but time and space will be allowed in a variety of locations for photographers.  Each evening at the lodge, informal discussions will take place amongst the photographers to share tips, ask questions and show their photos from the day.  This trip is hosted by Canadian Geographic magazine’s PhotoClub, but is open to all photographers.        

Limited to 20 guests.      September 7-10, 2013                $2,640 Cdn

Each photography group will share the lodge with other Heli-Hikers, Walkers and High Flying Adventurers so travel companions who are not photographers are welcome to join these groups and spend the days hiking and walking, while the photographers focus on their art.

For more information on these or other trips with CMH Summer Adventures, contact reservations at 1.800.661.0252.

Photo: Bugaboo Group, Best Trophy Shot, John Marriott Bugaboo Photography Workshop 2012.  Photographer: Cynthia Hummel.  To see more photos from the 2012 workshop visit our online photo gallery.

Tags: CMH Summer Adventures, Painting & Photo Workshops, Featured Guests

The Bugaboos right now - a kingdom of wildflowers

Posted by Topher Donahue on Thu, Aug 30, 2012

As the previous winter’s snows melt up the hillsides of the Canadian Rockies, springtime follows close behind, even into the late summer.  In a phenomenon not unique to the region, but perhaps more pronounced in the Columbia Mountains than mountain areas with less heavy snowfall, the wildflower season can last well into late August or even early September.

flowers alpine stream

The Columbia Mountains, a subrange of the Rockies, is a freak of nature that reveals itself in many forms.  The heart of this unique quality is the range’s precipitation patterns. The region receives enough annual precipitation to qualify as a rainforest, but most of it falls in the winter months in the form of snow - to the tune of 12 to 18 metres (40 to 60 feet) each winter, leaving the long, sunny, summer days to the flowers.

fireweed colour

The Columbia River is the largest river in a region containing one of the world’s richest reserves of fresh water.  As the deep snowbanks melt, armies of wildflowers bursting with every colour of the rainbow creep of the mountainsides, following the streams and trickles of the melting snow. 

Even in the late summer, when the other legendary wildflower zones are dry, with their blooms long since faded, the flowers of the Columbia Range are quite often still in full glory. 

Last week, during a photo shoot in the Bugaboos, I had a hard time keeping my lens out of the dew-soaked bouquet that spread all around us.  By the end of each day, my knees were soaked, my memory cards full, and my optical nerves saturated with colour. 

flowers in the snow

One morning, we were greeted with a dusting of fresh snow where the helicopter dropped us near treeline.  It melted quickly under the bright alpine sun, leaving the blossoms even more brilliant than the day before.

flowers and sunrise

Even the flowers surrounding the Bugaboo Lodge, while nurtured by human hands, were in full glory and formed a fanatsy-like foreground to sunrise on the famous Bugaboo Spires.

A photographer, Jeff Wendorff, who runs wildlife and landscape photo workshops was there to check out CMH Summer Adventures and decide if it was a good venue for a photo workshop.  At the end of our three days together, I asked him if he thought the Bugaboos would work for his workshops. 

His reply?


photographer in flowers

Photographers interested in current photo workshops with CMH should visit our website.  It is highly recommended that anyone booked on a CMH Summer Adventure bring the best camera they own with extra batteries and memory cards - it’s more beautiful than you think.

Tags: Bugaboos, Canadian Rockies, Canada, Flowers, Painting & Photo Workshops, photography, photos

Plein Air Painting & Photography Master Classes Return to Bugaboos

Posted by Sarah Pearson on Tue, Apr 17, 2012

Back by popular demand, CMH Summer Adventures is once again offering painting and photography enthusiasts the opportunity to study with the masters in British Columbia's Bugaboo mountains, amid some of the most stunning natural scenery in the world.
John Marriott Photography Workshop resized 600

Photography Workshop with John E. Marriott

From August 5-8, 2012, guests of CMH Summer Adventures will be able to enroll in a Photography Worksop with acclaimed wilderness photographer, John E. Marriott. Returning to the Bugaboos for the third straight year, Marriott will join guests on their alpine adventures, while instructing the amateur photographer guests in how to capture the best digital images of the area's dramatic wildflowers, framed by the jagged spires and glacial lakes of the Bugaboos range. And after fulfilling days of activity and photography, guests will join Marriott back at the lodge for gourmet alpine cuisine served family-style, followed by evening discussions about photographic techniques and new technology.
Robert Genn in 2011 resized 600

Painting Workshop with Robert Genn

Following very successful workshops in 2010 and 2011, renowned Canadian painters Robert Genn and Liz Wiltzen will once again lead guests in a Painting Workshop in the Bugaboos, from September 4-7, 2012. The assembled artists-in-training will be dropped off by helicopter in remote areas of the Purcell Mountains, along with Genn and Wiltzen, who will be available, upon request, to mentor and give critiques, or just let students explore, get inspired by the landscape and put brush to canvas in solitude.

Interested in learning more or joining one of these artistic workshops? Call CMH Summer Adventures and ask for Audrey at 1-800-661-0252 or if you are ready to request a space you can always book online.

Tags: Bugaboos, Canada, CMH Summer Adventures, Painting & Photo Workshops, Featured Guests, Educational Travel

A Bugaboo Painting Workshop with Robert Genn

Posted by Jane Carswell on Mon, Feb 06, 2012

In September of 2011 I had the pleasure of spending a day in the mountains with Robert Genn, one of Canada's most accomplished painters, and a group of workshop participants that had travelled from across western Canada to paint amid the Bugaboo Spires.  The day was picture perfect - not a cloud in the sky and barely a breeze.  The temps were comfortable in the mid-teens, the bugs had died off as a result of the cool nights and the mood was jubilant.  It was, in our minds, the best place in the world that day!

Not a painter myself, I stood, mouth-agape, as I watched this group of talented artists at work.  Within moments of the helicopter taking off and leaving the group to set up their gear, cameras were clicking, easels were erected and paints were already brushing across canvasses.  Their only complaint: "With this paradise spread before me, what subject will I choose?!"

On the last evening of the workshop the artists spread their rough works around the lodge for the non-painters to ooooohhhh and ahhhhh over. Four months later many of the artists have taken those studies created at the lodge and developed more refined works and  have been kind enough to submit them for inclusion here on our blog.  It is my pleasure to share with you some of the pieces created as a result of the Robert Genn Painting Workshop, 2011:

Janet Armstrong, owner of Just Imajan, her studio/ gallery in Cochrane, AB created this 12 x 16 painting in oil on the group's final afternoon in the Bugaboos in an area called Pearl.

Janet Armstrong, Pearl


Georgina Hunt is an artist who describes herself as "a hiker and self-taught artist who loves the mountains and rainforest and all that it encompasses". Her works, including Rocky Point below, can be viewed online or at the Rustica Gallery in Cochrane, AB and Gallery 88 in Vancouver, BC. 

Georgina Hunt, Rocky Point Bugaboos


Jaana Woiceshyn works at the University of Calgary but outside of her day job, she strives for daily painting, inspired by landscapes in the mountains and elsewhere. Contact Jaana directly to see more of her works like Bugaboo Spire below:

Jaana Woiceshyn, Rocky Point Ridge


Don Hodgins is a Salt Spring Island artist focussing on portrait and figurative artwork, landscape and a mix of sports action in a representational style.  This painting is entitled Bugaboo Spirit.

Don Hodgins Bugaboo Spirit


Diane Langlois, a two-time Bugaboo workshop attendee submitted this painting, A Cobalt Flight.  Diane is an enthusiastic globe-trotter always searching for the most extreme place to paint, the Bugaboos being the tamest!

Diane Langlois, Northpost Spire from Cobalt Lake


Liz Wiltzen co-instructed the Bugaboo Painting workshop with Robert Genn in both 2010 and 2011.  Liz knows these mountains well after spending many seasons here as a hiking guide and massage therapist.  Althought she's now a professional artist and life coach, we still consider her 'one of us'.  This painting of Tamarak Glen was created on this perfect day in the Bubagoos.

Liz Wiltzen, Tamarak Glen

As I look at this collection of artwork, I am taken back to that glorious day in the Bugaboos.  I can hear the silence, feel the warmth of the sun on my shoulders and the creative energy of the artists that surrounded me that day.

If these paintings piqued your interest, I encourage you to follow the links to each artists' pesonal collections. Many of Robert's works from 2010 and 2011 can be seen on the website for Canada House Gallery in Banff.  If you are inspired to join Robert Genn and Liz Wiltzen for their third annual Bugaboo Painting Workshop, more information can be found on our website.

Many thanks to the artists for submitting their images for use in this article.

Tags: Canadian Rockies, CMH Summer Adventures, Bugaboo Lodge, Painting & Photo Workshops

CMH Photography Workshop Contest Winners Announced

Posted by Jane Carswell on Fri, Oct 07, 2011

In August 2011 we hosted our second Bugaboo Photography Workshop with Canadian wilderness photographer John E. Marriott. Following the workshop John invited the participants to submit their images for a photography contest.  The judges deliberated for hours over the spectacular images each participant submitted to arrive at a decision on the winners in each category.

Without further ado, the winners are:

1) Best Overall Image by Joann Kennedy:

2011 Bugaboo Photography Workshop, Best Overall Image, Joann Kennedy


2) Best Trophy Shot by Jennifer Rutledge

2011 Bugaboo Photography Workshop, Best Trophy Shot, Jennifer Rutledge


3) Best Person in a Landscape by Shanna Baker

2011 Bugaboo Photography Workshop, Best Person in a Landscape Image, Shanna Baker Rutledge


4) Best Intimate Shot by Jennifer Rutledge

2011 Bugaboo Photography Workshop, Best Intimate Detail Shot, Jennifer RutledgeTo see all of the submissions from this year's participants, visit our online photo gallery.

A note from the John E. Marriott and Lyle Grisedale (CMH Summer Adventures guide):

This year's entries into our CMH Bugaboos Photography Workshop contest were a real treat to view and judge. Superb weather, a great group of eager participants and some spectacular locations made for our best year yet of images, many of which either of us would have been happy to call our own. We're looking forward now to next year, we can't wait to see who and what the workshop brings our way!

Learn more about CMH Summer Adventure Bugaboo Photography Workshops by visiting us online or contact CMH Reservations at

Tags: Bugaboos, Best of, Painting & Photo Workshops

Inside Scoop: CMH Photo Workshop

Posted by Jason Semenek on Wed, Apr 20, 2011


I was lucky enough to be in the Bugaboo Lodge last summer during the CMH Summer Adventure Photography Workshop with John E. Marriott. Although I wasn't part of the photography group, I got to see the evening presentation and share dinner conversations with the participants.

The trip culminated in a contest - participants provided their top photos from the workshop in the following categories:
John E. Marriott discussing composition with participantBest Overall Image
• Best Signature Image of the Bugaboo Mountains
• Best 'Out of the Clouds' Image
• An additional prize was awarded for Most Improved Photographer.

The winner of the Best Overall Image was R. John Knight, a retired geologist from Calgary. I recently spoke to John about the trip.

JS: Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your photography.
RJK: I tend to think of myself as a 'serious amateur photographer'. I purchased my first 35 mm camera in high school, more than 50 years ago! As a geologist, my camera was an essential tool for documenting my work and travel. As the years went by, my interest in capturing images of nature and wildlife grew.

JS: So, you prefer wildlife and nature photography?
RJK: Yes - My preferences are wildlife and nature in any setting. For the most part, photography gets me outside to enjoy whatever nature has to offer.

JS: What was your favourite part of the photography workshop?
RJK: Spending time with John and other photographers in a stunningly beautiful place, the Bugaboos. John is fun and easy to be with, and he's a great instructor. I learned on this trip that even if the weather is stormy and unsettled, there are still many opportunities to find great images, from macros to scenic vistas. So, if the helicopter can get there, there will be something to photograph.

JS: Don't you love the helicopter!? Any tips for attendees of this year's wildflower photography workshop with John, running August 5-8, 2011?
RJK: You don't need to bring a lot of photographic gear each day. Bring what will comfortably fit into the protection of your daypack, and consider using a padded case for your tripod and tripod head to protect it bumps and knocks when it is in the helicopter's outside storage basket.  

JS: Thanks, John! And now, here's the contest winning photo!

Don't miss your chance to learn from a pro in an amazing setting. John E. Marriott will again be leading the Photography Workshop at CMH Bugaboos August 5-8, 2011. This year the focus is WILDFLOWERS.
> Get the itinerary and all the details


Tags: Bugaboo Lodge, Best pictures 2010, Painting & Photo Workshops

Interpreting Nature: CMH Offers An Artistic Approach

Posted by Sarah Pearson on Tue, Apr 19, 2011

This summer, CMH Summer Adventures is offering an incredible painting retreat and photo workshop in the mountains of British Columbia, providing the everyday person a unique opportunity to enrich their artistic vision of the world.

In some form or another, interpreting the world around us is an every day part of our lives.  We consider it, vaguely processing our surroundings as it relates to our lives, and then quickly move on to other things. But when we slow down - when we really stop and consider our surroundings – when we take a moment to breathe and see our world through a fresh set of eyes - this is the moment when we can truly appreciate and discover something new in both ourselves and in the world around us. 

Artists have the ability to creatively channel their interpretation of our world and present it back to us in new and inspiring ways. This interpretation is everywhere – in film, dance, music, the written word, photography, painting, and all sorts of creative design.  Luckily, there is artistic merit in all of us, but our challenge is to find an outlet that will let it shine through in our own unique way.

Mountains and wilderness offer inspiring places where we can more deeply explore our own personal interpretation of the world. These vast landscapes, accompanied by natural elements of alpine dappled sunlight and pine infused breezes, can awaken ones senses so as to see the world with a whole new sense of clarity.  Whether you are exploring these landscapes through the lens of a camera or behind easel and canvas, nature can awaken your unique artistic powers.

Photography Workshop with CMH Summer Adventures in the Bugaboo mountainsJoining a peer community for hands-on learning, sharing, and creative exploration can be an excellent way to develop new techniques for self-expression. For those with an appetite to interpret the world through the focused lens of a camera, acclaimed wilderness photographer John E. Marriott is hosting a photography workshop, August 5 – 8, 2011 – the peak of wildflower season – from the Bugaboo Lodge. Carpets of vibrant reds, greens, purples and yellows grace alpine meadows providing a deep contrast to the blue skies, jagged spires and ancient glaciers of the Bugaboo Range.

For those whose expression is best articulated through paint on canvas, on September 7 – 10, 2011, internationally renowned Canadian artist Robert Genn and his colleague Liz Wiltzen are set to lead a plein air painting retreat high in the alpine ranges of these same majestic Bugaboo Mountains. Once you have filled your lungs with mountain air and your paint-box full of masterpieces, you will be lifted up and returned to the luxurious comfort and hospitality of the Bugaboo Lodge.

Slowing down and really looking at the intricate details nature generously offers can be an uplifting and soulful experience. It can fuel us with an ongoing source of internal energy that can last a lifetime - regardless of the outward physical quality of our artistic expression. For most of us, pursuing a creative passion is about the journey and luckily, not so much about the final destination.

Interested in learning more of joining one of these artistic workshops? Call CMH Summer Adventures and ask for Audrey at 1-800-661-0252 or if you are already set you can book online.

Tags: CMH Summer Adventures, Bugaboo Lodge, Painting & Photo Workshops, photos, Educational Travel

Iconic Artist Robert Genn to Host 2nd Bugaboo Heli-Painting Workshop

Posted by Jane Carswell on Tue, Apr 12, 2011

Robert Genn BUGABOO CHINOOK 26366 363Dwarfed by the magnificent peaks of the Bugaboo mountains, ten enthusiastic and talented artists huddled together with famous Canadian artist Robert Genn and his co-host Liz Wiltzen.  The helicopter flew away and the artists were left in silence to gasp in awe at the scene unfolding around them.

In each direction lay mountains, lakes, rocks and plant life begging to be replicated on canvas.  Each artist analyzed the view in a different way and in the end, each replicated the sight uniquely on canvas. 

This group spent two and a half days rambling around in the Bugaboos and even braved a couple of exciting 'mountain weather events'.  This was a rare opportunity to paint with and learn from a master in some of Canada's most spectacular mountains.  The result?  The Bugaboo 10.

On May 7 Robert Genn will be in Banff for an exhibition of his artwork and one piece from each of his 10 heli-painting companions at Canada House Gallery.  I have been lucky enough to have a sneak preview of Robert's works and a few of the peices submitted by some of the other artists and am very excited for the upcoming show.  For those of you planning to be in Banff at this time, we hope to see you at the Gallery.  If not, we hope you enjoy viewing (and maybe even purchasing) the paintings online.

The Bugaboo Lodge team will again play host to Robert, Liz and a group of heli-painting enthusiasts this coming September. You can learn more about the September 2011 Heli-Painting workshop here.

Photo: Robert Genn: Bugaboo Chinook Showpiece.

Tags: CMH Summer Adventures, Bugaboo Lodge, Painting & Photo Workshops