<p><b>Photographer: </b>Erik Turner, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/highpressurephotography/">@highpressurephotography</a></p> <p><b>Location: </b>Bugaboo Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada</p> <p>“First light and the awe of my brother-in-law, Andy Munas (<a href="https://www.instagram.com/AndyMunas/">@AndyMunas</a>), as he gets his first full view of our route on the Bugaboo Spire.</p> <p>“The Bugaboos reformed adventure in our minds after kilometers of potholed dirt roads, a daunting approach to a camp amongst glaciers, and a fitful night's sleep under the presence of such formidable granite walls. On the day of our climb, we were uncharacteristically silent on our march toward the massive spire. The prelude was over just as the sun broke past the horizon. Blasted with morning light, the tower was looming, we were scared, and I knew I had to set up for this shot to see my brother-in-law's reaction.” —Erik Turner</p> <p><b>Judges’ Comments</b></p> <p>“I feel like this was captured in a true moment of exploration. Unposed images that happen in the moment resonate with me and make me want to get outside.”</p> <p>—Ben Moon, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/Ben_Moon/">@Ben_Moon</a></p> <p>“I love this image for the quality of light, the remote and rugged setting, and the feeling of calm in what I know (as someone who has slogged up many a steep hill with a heavy backpack) to be a moment of struggle. In a world inundated by adventure-centric imagery and faux adventure pose-downs, I appreciate the nuances of this photo that lend to its authenticity: the tape gloves on the climber’s hands, the alpine draws around his neck, that feeling [of] awe captured between plodding heavy uphill steps. It sums up that moment when we transcend the struggle and remember why we seek the wild places—why it’s all worth it. I also applaud the photographer for getting ahead of his subject and capturing this image where we can see his face. I know from personal experience what a juggling act it is to try and shuffle ahead with a heavy pack of camera equipment to try and get this frontal perspective in a situation where there’s little or no time for posing.”</p> <p>—Forest Woodward, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/ForestWoodward/">@ForestWoodward</a></p> <p>“I liked this image a lot, mostly because it was the most candid image in the series that also contained a beautiful sense of scene and light. The expression on the climber’s face is one of struggle and amazement that’s reflected in the setting.”</p> <p>—Max Lowe, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/Max.Lowe/">@Max.Lowe</a></p>

First-Place Winner

Photographer: Erik Turner, @highpressurephotography

Location: Bugaboo Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

“First light and the awe of my brother-in-law, Andy Munas (@AndyMunas), as he gets his first full view of our route on the Bugaboo Spire.

“The Bugaboos reformed adventure in our minds after kilometers of potholed dirt roads, a daunting approach to a camp amongst glaciers, and a fitful night's sleep under the presence of such formidable granite walls. On the day of our climb, we were uncharacteristically silent on our march toward the massive spire. The prelude was over just as the sun broke past the horizon. Blasted with morning light, the tower was looming, we were scared, and I knew I had to set up for this shot to see my brother-in-law's reaction.” —Erik Turner

Judges’ Comments

“I feel like this was captured in a true moment of exploration. Unposed images that happen in the moment resonate with me and make me want to get outside.”

—Ben Moon, @Ben_Moon

“I love this image for the quality of light, the remote and rugged setting, and the feeling of calm in what I know (as someone who has slogged up many a steep hill with a heavy backpack) to be a moment of struggle. In a world inundated by adventure-centric imagery and faux adventure pose-downs, I appreciate the nuances of this photo that lend to its authenticity: the tape gloves on the climber’s hands, the alpine draws around his neck, that feeling [of] awe captured between plodding heavy uphill steps. It sums up that moment when we transcend the struggle and remember why we seek the wild places—why it’s all worth it. I also applaud the photographer for getting ahead of his subject and capturing this image where we can see his face. I know from personal experience what a juggling act it is to try and shuffle ahead with a heavy pack of camera equipment to try and get this frontal perspective in a situation where there’s little or no time for posing.”

—Forest Woodward, @ForestWoodward

“I liked this image a lot, mostly because it was the most candid image in the series that also contained a beautiful sense of scene and light. The expression on the climber’s face is one of struggle and amazement that’s reflected in the setting.”

—Max Lowe, @Max.Lowe

Photograph by Erik Turner

Adventure Photo Contest Winners: #MyAdvofYear

See the top ten photos that caught the eyes of our judges in our first #MyAdvofYear Instagram Photo Contest. Our first-place winner, Erik Turner, will receive a trip for two to Patagonia from National Geographic Adventures. Thanks to all who shared their hard-won photos! And a special thank you to our judges, adventure photographers Tim Kemple, Max Lowe, Ben Moon, Forest Woodward, and Krystle Wright.

Read This Next

What drives elephant poaching? It’s not greed
How old are you, really? The answer is written on your face.
The rise of vegan safaris

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet