Atlin, BC

Atlin, BC - Ridge Resources

A recent adventure found me near Atlin, BC, where I had the opportunity to accompany an old friend of mine to some remote areas in the northwest of the province.

Atlin, BC - Ridge Resources
Atlin Lake

Kyler Hardy, president of Ridge Resources, was in the area to perform some soil sampling and prospecting (checking the mineral content of surface rocks) for one of his many projects.

Atlin, BC - Ridge Resources
Headed out for a day of work.
Atlin, BC - Ridge Resources
Getting his hands dirty.
Atlin, BC - Ridge Resources
Checking the mineral content of a cracked rock

Transportation to the site was provided by Discovery Helicopters, based out of Atlin.

Atlin, BC - Ridge Resources
Our pilot, Paula, at work.
Atlin, BC - Ridge Resources
A very fun way to get around.

Being on a mountainside in such a remote location for several days renewed my appreciation for both the conveniences of city life and for the beauty of the natural landscape and delicate ecosystem. Walking through the forest of mostly mixed balsam and aspen, trying not to mind the swarms of black flies and mosquitoes, I couldn’t help but think that few of us, myself included, would survive more than a few weeks in such a setting. Most of us lack basic wilderness survival skills, especially those concerning food and shelter, simply due to the absence of a need for such skills in modern civilization. I was very thankful for my tent and our abundant food, not to mention Kyler’s excellent camp cooking skills.

Atlin, BC - Ridge Resources
Mr. Hardy

The site we were visiting, and many like it, are possible locations for future placer mining operations, a somewhat controversial method. My initial response to the kind of environmental destruction associated with placer mining is one of resistance and opposition. Further thought, however, leads me to realize that the majority of the comforts we enjoy are reliant on such methods. This dependence, of course, does not necessarily justify the types of methods employed, but it does extend the responsibility to those of us, which is most of us, who take advantage of the products acquired in methods like placer mining. It would seem that a paradigm shift concerning what we consider our “needs” would be required to eliminate or at least reduce the need for such methods as placer mining.

I’ve not yet sorted out how this sort of ethical concern affects my profession as a photographer. I certainly enjoy travelling and taking photos, and, so far at least, I don’t feel overly conflicted in offering my services to natural resource groups so long as no deception or misrepresentation is taking place, and so long as I am transparent in my role as a photographer. I welcome debate on the matter should anyone like to get in touch with me. More photos below.

Atlin, BC - Ridge Resources
End of day rest.
Atlin, BC - Ridge Resources
Socked in on our last day.
Atlin, BC - Ridge Resources
Waiting for pickup; walking while reading helped minimize the bugs.
Atlin, BC - Ridge Resources
Some rest before pickup. It got quite nice in the afternoon.