A number of scenes from the 1987 Pink Floyd music video Learning to Fly were filmed on a ridge in Kananaskis, just east of Canmore. In the story a young native fellow climbs up the hill, only to jump off it before turning into a graceful soaring eagle. A metaphor for change perhaps?
Interestingly, we found ourselves on that same ridge and took the opportunity to duplicate some of the shots seen in the video. Minus the characters of course.
As you can see nothing much has changed and it was easy to line things up. From the top of the ridge, Wind Ridge as it’s known, the main character can be seen walking in front of the Three Sisters, a trio of mountains directly west of here. What a stunning setting!
Also from a rocky outcropping, he looks north into the valley of West Wind Creek and beyond to the towering Mount Lougheed and it’s neighbour Windtower. A shaman is seen dancing from roughly this angle as well. Again, I can see why they shot in this setting – the views are mind blowing.
In the last scene, the young man runs towards the edge. In fact, from that angle, he’d hit some trees. Hollywood licence I guess. This was my most poorly lined up shot, and I took the picture from the western edge of the ridge, where I should have shot from the east, so the grassy top would be in the frame. Oh well.
There were other scenes from this video that I did not duplicate. They were either photographed from below, which would have required retreating down some rocky outcroppings and steep and slippery grassy slopes, something I was not prepared to do give the hard climb up that day. Or the specific spot could simply not be found.
Actor Lawrence Bayne played the part of the main character in the video.
Wind Ridge is a nice, if not a brutally steep, hike and the views from the top are simply amazing. This was one of he most enjoyable trips we’ve done this year and I highly recommend it. The lower trail can be sketchy due to a maze of old exploration roads that criss-cross the side of the ridge, and flood damage has not helped either. In any case, refer to our trip report (link above) to get a detailed turn by turn description.
The images from the video are copyright EMI.
If you like these sort of then and now posts, check these out…
Calgary then and now – Devenish Apartments.
Silver Streak movie then and now – walking the tracks.
Superman 3 then and now – bridge scene.
If you’d like to know more about this place, by all means contact us!
Date: August 2013.
Location: Wind Ridge near Canmore, AB.