Phil Borges and the Pacific Northwest

Today I had the great pleasure of meeting the supremely talented photographer Phil Borges, who’s work focuses on the empowerment of women in 3rd world countries. His first project in Tibet received a lot of well deserved attention and allowed him to continue telling stories with his photography of the people he meets. I have been a fan of Phil’s work since I read an article several years ago in a photography magazine featuring him. I love his focus on the people and bringing to detail the struggles they go through, especially the women in these countries. 
My time back in the States has been good. I was greeted in the Seattle airport by a dear friend 30 some hours after leaving Mumbai (somehow the same day). I watched a LOT of movies on the international sections and somehow managed to sleep between Detroit and Seattle. I spent time with my uncle out on the beautiful Whidbey Island and photographed his motor yacht. Several years ago I had promised him pictures but somehow never delivered (and now that certain hard drive has crashed…not positive I have DVD backups of it all). We had one of those few and far between absolutely stunning PNW winter days.

More photos and thoughts –>

Tiffany joined me on Whidbey and we spent our day near Deception Pass. I have photographed here before, but I cannot get enough of it.

When leaving the park we see a beautiful rock full of chalk marks. I had previously shipped my climbing rope and equipment to Tiffany so it was in the trunk. Perfect opportunity to climb. It was just the right temperature and the rock was overhung, so the slight drizzle didn’t affect the holds. This got me excited to find more climbing in the area.

The next day we saw online there is plenty of climable rock on the nearby Mount Erie, just north of Deception Pass. Following the ambiguous directions we find a few bolted routes near the lookout at the top of the mountain. With beautiful views of the surrounding lakes and shoreline, we jump on the easy yet energizing sport climbs. Only at the bottom of the mountain looking up do we see that we were climbing just around the corner from a massive amount of climbs. Ah, well, next time.

We drive to Vancouver, BC for a few days and stay with Chris, a friend I met in Hampi over New Years. He encourages us to spend a day hiking on the Big Chief in Squamish. We take his advice and spend an afternoon scrambling up the intense Class 4 trek. The bare top of the first peak scares us as we both slip at the same time, our imaginations full of images of us sliding over the edge. Luckily nothing happened and we get off the mountain in time to meet Kevin, another friend I met in Hampi. The climbing community in this area is great, and I cannot wait to be closer.

Speaking of, I am unofficially planning on moving to Portland within the year (or so) to pursue my refocus of adventure sport photography. I love India and I would love to stay longer, but my passions are pushing me towards adventure sports,and the availability in India is…limited. The Pacific Northwest has almost everything I could ever want to pursue. And it doesn’t hurt that many of the companies supplying gear to these sports are based in Portland.

Meeting with Phil Borges was a definite highlight of my trip, and encouraging for my plans to move into this area. I do not know what the future holds, but whatever it is, I sure am looking forward to it.