Three Sisters Through the Seasons

Perched high above the City of Fernie in Southeastern British Columbia, the Three Sisters (also known as Mount Trinity) are one of the iconic peaks of the Elk Valley. At 2788m above sea level, the summit is the highest mountain in the Fernie area, and is a deservedly popular subject for photographers in Fernie.

Ever since I moved to Fernie in 2014 the Three Sisters always stood out to me. I admired the steep and snowy faces, and loved the morning light as it lit the peaks. In early 2017 I decided to capture the Three Sisters as the seasons changed, from the same spot and with the same morning light.

The Three Sisters tends to either be enveloped in clouds or completely free of clouds. Knowing this, and combined with my work and travel schedule this year I thought this could be a difficult project to pull off to achieve my vision. Indeed, even though I went to my spot 4 times in the spring, I still couldn't pull off a shot with the peaks lit up and wonderful clouds above, and settled with a nice blue sky morning for my Three Sisters Spring

Three Sisters Spring

For the summer shot, I wanted to have the Three Sisters free of snow. This meant I had a narrow window of time between mid-July and early September to get my shot. However, the wildfires throughout the East Kootenays, BC and Montana meant there were many days where Fernie was shrouded in smoke, which definitely did not fit into my vision for this project! On an early morning in mid-August I finally went out to capture my shot, and even though there was just a bit of haze in the sky, it cleared up as the sun was touching the peaks, and I came away with a shot I was happy with.

Three Sisters Summer

Fall is my favourite time of year for photography. I love watching the colours of the trees change, and in my mind nothing beats the first snowfall of the season on the peaks above the golden yellow of the larch trees in the valley. Low lying fog on autumn mornings can also provide some amazing atmosphere, and I was hoping to capture all of the above with a wonderful sunrise. I needed to wait until the very end of October for all the conditions to line up, but I came away with a photo that I'm very proud of.

Three Sisters Fall

Finally winter arrived in Fernie, and the peaks and town were completely covered in snow. In mid-February I went out on a cold morning to capture my final image in the series. The clouds surrounded the tops of the Three Sisters and a light snowfall from earlier in the week graced the treetops. As the sunrise struck the peaks I worked on capturing my images. Shortly after I captured my third set of images for my photo, my camera died, and that was it for my morning. Thankfully I had captured what I needed and completed the series.

Three Sisters Winter
Created By
Mark Locki


Mark Locki Photography

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