Winter Mountain Magic
Photography Tour with Leslie Degner


Wednesday, 15th January 2020 to Sunday, 19th January 2020 - 4 nights

(Outdoor event, with some general review sessions in the evenings - suitable for all levels and any media)

Join Edmonton photographers Mark and Leslie Degner and your host Alan Ernst to discover the Magic of Winter in the Mountains, and explore some of the magnificent locations and photo opportunities in Bighorn Country. Leslie and her husband Mark have been offering our successful spring and winter photo tours and workshops for a number of years. For more information please visit, where you will also find some images from some past winter tours.

This event is classified as a tour and the date in mid-January is generally when the snow is still fresh and the ice on Abraham Lake should be at it's best.

Winter dawn on Abraham Lake Warm winter light over Abraham Lake

Reflection of Excoelis Mtn in North Saskatchewan backwater concentric bubbles in Abraham Lake ice

Whereas many photographers flock to the area in winter to capture the famous methane bubbles in the ice of the lake, this tour is about more than bubbles. First of all, there is never any guarantee that the bubbles will be visible OR that the ice is safe to venture out at any particular time. Second, there are so many incredibly rewarding locations and subjects to be found in the area, that spending all the time working bubbles and bubbles only would be an unfortunate waste of opportunity. No matter what the conditions of the lake ice, we can always take our participants to special places, that are just as stunning. However, if conditions are right, rest assured that we will spend time on and around Abraham Lake.

snowmoundsdead spruceling in snow

The scenery up closeMarch of the icicles

It being mid winter, expect temperatures to be way below freezing much of the time, so it is important to be well prepared. Participants will receive a list of equipment and gear two months before the start of the event. Locations will be chosen based on snow and ice conditions, weather (temperatures, wind, cloud cover) and the general interest of our participants. Many locations are close to the road but some require a 30 minute hike or so to get to, so participants should be fit to do so. This will ensure that you come away with the best images possible and also guarantees our participants a good variety of winter scenery, subjects, detail and possibly some wildlife sightings.

wildlife encounters are not uncommon but sometimes you need a little luckNo shortage of unusual angles

As this is a photo tour and we will spend all the time outside working our subjects (weather permitting), participants do not need specific equipment or levels of expertise. Mark, Leslie or Alan are always available to answer your questions and provide advice if needed. That said, you should have a basic understanding of photographic principles and be reasonably familiar with the gear you own.
After an eventful day on snow and ice, return to the warmth and comfort of Aurum Lodge and
Madeleine's hearty home cooking. In the evenings we can discuss specific topics of interest to participants or review some of the images taken during the day.

Shoreline ice on Abraham LakeIcefalls, canyons, flowing water make for great subjects on a cloudy dayShoreline Ice on Abraham Lake

If you are new to or just looking for great winter mountain imagery, and prefer not to worry about where to go when, AND improve your photography at the same time - these tours are for you (and you can always add on a day or two before or at the end, if you wish to spend more time in the area on your own).

Transportation to and from the lodge and insurance are the responsibility of participants, but all other costs are included. we recommend taking out trip cancellation insurance! During the tours, we car-pool with usually three persons per vehicle, to reduce environmental impact.

Winter dawn over Abraham Lake
ice formations on Abraham Lake

Winter Landscape in the mountainsLacy Ice pattern

Price:   C$ 1,899 per person (single occupancy) / C$ 1,649 per person (shared occupancy), plus 5% GST (works out to approximately US$ 1,460 / US$ 1,280 plus GST).

Included: four nights accommodation at Aurum Lodge, all meals starting with dinner on day 1 and ending with lunch on day 5, beverages, gratuities, 4% tourism levy, instructor fees, excursions in the area (we will carpool).

Timing:  the tour starts with an introduction of participants at 5pm on the Wednesday and wraps up after lunch on the Sunday (around 1:30pm).

Group Size: maximum six participants

Deposit / Cancellation Terms: Deposits are 1/3 at the time of reservation, increasing to 2/3 two months before the tour, with balance due at the start of the tour. Cancellation charge is C$ 300 minimum, increasing to 2/3 of package price two months before the tour (unless the spot can be re-sold at short notice).

For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact Alan at Aurum Lodge.

Winterscene along Mistaya River