Box 1320, Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (QC), J0M 1C0, Canada
Phone: +608-370-5071 / Email


Nature Photographers
(The late) Galen & Barbara Rowell

All photos- unless accredited otherwise - are copyrighted by Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography
All rights reserved.

In Memory of Galen & Barbara

World-renowned wilderness photographer and writer Galen Rowell, and his wife Barbara Cushman Rowell - an accomplished photographer and writer in her own right - died early Sunday morning, August 11th, 2002 in an airplane crash outside of Bishop, CA. In a tragic irony, the Rowells' were returning home from an extended flight around the Bering Sea, and were passengers in a small private plane that went down just south of the Bishop Airport - Galen & Barbara's hometown. There were four people on board, with no survivors. The cause of the crash was investigated by the NTSB and FAA.

In 1997, 1999 and 2000, Galen and Barbara Rowell made three trips with Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures for photographic forays to the barrenlands to obtain wildlife and Arctic landscape photo stock. Several of the photos taken on these Northern trips were included in three of Galen’s books including ‘North America the Beautiful’; ‘The Living Wild’; and Galen Rowell's Inner Game of Outdoor Photography.

Barbar & galen Rowell on the beach at the Ecoventures Thelon basecamp in the autumn of 2002 - always happy those two... / photo by Tundra Tom
Galen & Barbara Rowell on their last trip to the
Thelon in 2000: Photo courtesy Tundra Tom


Galen wrote this about his three photo trips with us to the Canadian mainland Arctic:

"Do I dare admit that I first thought the name of our trip, 'Dance with the Caribou', was marketing hype? After all, when you've seen 'Dances with Wolves,' read Farley Mowat, and then come across a name like 'Tundra Tom', what's a California photographer to think? Afterwards, I summed up my experience with the following journal entry:"


"Tundra Tom doesn't promise more than he can deliver, but he does deliver more than he promises.  He never said I'd see a wolverine or step outside my tent beside a lake reflecting the northern lights and a crescent moon as wolf howls pierced the night.. "
Copyright Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography

Copyright Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography


 "He never hinted how much more lasting my memories would be of stalking totally wild animals through thoughtful interaction with their environment and perceptions, compared to making equally close photographs of habituated animals from my car window in Yellowstone or Yosemite."


Nor did he suggest that my experience in the Far North with him might affect my life back home. Just after I returned, I ran a steep trail in the hills above San Francisco Bay where the deer I sometimes see have always sprinted off when I get closer than about 150 feet. When I spotted a doe and fawn up ahead, I raised my arms and did the slow caribou dance that Tom taught us to do on open ground. To my amazement, the deer just stood there until I got six feet from them, when they politely stepped off the trail. I had no regrets about not having a camera with me. The experience was complete and mine alone, imprinted in my memory with far more detail and significance than film could ever record.
Photo copyright Barbara Rowell
Barbara Rowell on the camp esker at sunset:
copyright Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography
"On the Barrens, however, I shot nearly a hundred rolls of film of wildlife and a landscape that perfectly fit Farley Mowat's glowing descriptions (despite his fanciful elaborations of his own exploits)."
"Flying in the Beaver we saw summer plains "thronged with life and brilliant with the colors of countless plants in bloom" and lakes "whose very blue depths are flanked by summer flowers and sweeping green meadows."
Click to enlarge: Copyright Galen Rowell /Mountain Light Photography


Morning esker mist - copyright Galen Rowell

Galen Rowell with'yardboo' - copyright Larry Bowman

Copyright Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography
Click to enlarge


Galen at the Thelon wildlife camp - photo courtesy Tundra Tom
Galen at the Thelon wildlife camp - photo courtesy Tundra Tom
"On the ground, I could hardly hold back from laughing the first time I saw middle-aged men and women bending over, raising hands high alongside their heads, waltzing slowly across the tundra with a partner in tow to form a four-legged silhouette with a rack of antlers."
"When the caribou lowered their heads and returned to grazing, I was amazed to be able to get photos that I never would have imagined were possible on the open tundra." Galen Rowell stalking a caribou on the NWT tundra / photo copyright Larry Bowman Photo copyright Larry Bowman

Copyright Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography

"Calves were especially prone to leave their mothers and come walking up to check out the new guy on the range with those three carbon-fiber horns sticking out of that thing that made clicking noises just after the horns reversed to touch the ground."
"I doubt that the great majority of animals we stalked and photographed had any recognition of us as human. They may not have ever seen humans before."

Copyright Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography

Copyright Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography


"The stalks I think of as being the best were not necessarily those that produced the closest photographs, but those where the decision to retreat was ours and the animals remained where they were, unaffected by our presence."


What more could you ask for a great wildlife experience? Well, how about good food, comfortable tents, and hot showers...We had that too!"

Galen Rowell
Mountain Light Photography

Copyright Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography


Barbara Rowell at the Great Canadian camp kitchen - 2000

The late Galen Rowell with famed wolf biologist Dr. David Mech - watching for wild wolves at the Great Canadian Upper Thelon wildlife camp - 1997

Copyright Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography

Copyright Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography

Copyright Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography

Copyright Galen Rowell / Mountain Light Photography


Galen & Barbara Rowells' photos & art touched the lives of millions of people world-wide, and they are sadly missed…


(The late) Galen Rowell contemplating a Thelon sunset - photo copyright Barbara Rowell - 1999


Click here to learn about the 'Musk-ox, Autumn Colours & Aurora' trips on which Galen & Barbara Rowell participated


Many of Galen & Barbara Rowells' artwork, books & prints are still available for purchase - visit the 'Mountain Light' website!


  North America the Beautiful 

This wonderful tabletop book, with text and photographs by Galen Rowell, celebrates more than 30 years of exploring this vast region from Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, to Mexico and the Caribbean. Several plates in the book were taken on Galens' three trips with Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures to the Thelon country of the NWT & Nunavut. This spectacular six-pound, large-format book provides 320 pages of stunning scenery, richly illustrated and beautifully described with Galen's personal perspective and unique insight. 

This is Galen's second book that has coverage of the Thelon country and Great Canadian trips: The first, released in 1999 is Living Planet: Preserving Edens of the Earth, and highlights the precious web of life that World Wildlife Fund's revolutionary Living Planet Campaign seeks to save. Lavishly illustrated with stunning full-color photographs, the book features a foreword by Walter Cronkite along with the work of acclaimed nature photographers Frans Lanting, David Doubilet, and Galen Rowell


Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures

Click here to download our current trip calendar in PDF


Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures, Inc. is proud of the following affiliations:

Turismo Responsable



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Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures

Phone: +608-370-5071
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