a photographic odyssey by chris brunkhart in honor of craig kelly
My first shot that ran in a magazine was one of Craig. I happened to be in the right place at the right time. We never actually met on that day, he was just hitting a jump in Whistler. Craig called me one day years later and invited me to Alaska. Little did I know the adventures that lay ahead.
He influenced my life, my way of thinking, and how I saw the world. We traveled all over the globe, spending a lot of our time in AK and Chile. For years we bonded, becoming friends and compatriots. I grew as a snowboarder, a photographer and a person knowing him. I’ll never forget these journeys, and my time with a great friend.
- Chris Brunkhart
Near Juneau, Alaska
This photo was taken on one of my first trips with Craig. If there was a word for him, he was an explorer—mind, body and soul. Hiking up to this point in Alaska symbolized his onward march.
Near Cataldo, Idaho
On a trip through the West, Craig and I stopped to visit Steve Matthews and his cat operation. Waking up early the next morning, getting in the 4x4, a cat, and then a little hiking, Steve got us to the powder.
Not very many people can throw up a big spray of powder and make it look as good as Craig Kelly. This photo gives me goose bumps. Beautiful.
Mistaya Lodge near Revelstoke, BC
The only way into Mistaya Lodge is by helicopter or foot. We were on a splitboard trip when splitboarding was still new. On one of the last days, Craig decided to hike this 50 degree chute. It was super foggy and gray, and Dave Seaone and I waited to capture it in the valley below using a 400mm lens.
It probably took Craig two hours to hike to the top of the chute. It was as crazy as it looks, sticking out of a jagged peak, but he made it look beautiful and smooth like he’d done it a million times.
This photo symbolizes his perseverance—when Craig wanted to do something, he did it. Once he made a decision and a commitment, he had a thing burning inside of him and he needed to fulfill it.
Copilot Series: The Complete Collection
Set of 3 - 10" x 15"
open edition collection
*All sizes listed are the image size.
*All photographs come with a 1" border on all sides.
$85.00 - $195.00
Chris Brunkhart passed away in 2016 after a long battle with cancer.
Chris was a photographer's photographer, steadfastly preferring to shoot on black and white film til the end. Through his lens and iconic style, Chris captured grainy images that felt like his beloved Pacific Northwest - moody, sublime and deeply personal.