Olympus “Tough” Camera

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On July 17th, Jeff, Fix and I descend Box Canyon, near Squamish.  This is a beautiful, sculpted granite and basalt canyon full of flowing water.

A view into the middle of Box from the rim

A view into the middle of Box from the rim

It is the first time that Jeff and I are descending the canyon, so naturally I take a bunch of photos on the way through, with my two year old Olympus Tough TG-310.  As I arrive at the bottom of the very last rappel, I reach for the camera hanging from my harness… and it is gone. With great difficulty over the roaring water, I holler up for Jeff and Fix to look for it up above, but no luck.  It has either disappeared higher up the canyon, or has fallen into a pool where no one can spot it.

The bottom of the final rappel in Box Canyon.

The bottom of the final rappel in Box Canyon.

Thirteen days later, I return with Jeff, my son Perrin, and Artem, and try to watch for my camera in the lower part of the canyon.  From viewing Jeff’s photos and video, we figure it is somewhere between the seventh and eighth rappels.  There are a lot of swirling pools and rushing water. I expect nothing, and sure enough find nothing…

Bottom of the seventh rappel in Box Canyon.

Bottom of the seventh rappel in Box Canyon.

I go through again with Thomas on August 16th. It’s now been over four weeks. I barely glance down on the way through – what are the chances of finding the camera, never mind finding it intact?

Top of the seventh rappel in Box Creek.

Top of the seventh rappel in Box Creek

This past weekend, August 31, I descend the canyon yet again. There has been a monstrously large thunderstorm thirty-six hours previously, and absolute torrents of water have flushed out the canyon.

A pool at the bottom of rappel four in Box Creek.

A pool at the bottom of rappel four in Box Creek.

Fifteen of us struggle our way through a canyon that is roaring (and delightful!)

 

Ilze descends the chute of rappel five in Box Creek.

Ilze descends the chute of rappel five in Box Creek.

Just after the seventh rappel, Ilze looks into a pool of water, and spots my red camera!  My theory is that the camera had been in a higher pool where it was less visible, and washed into a shallower pool during the storm. Nobody tells me about it, until we reach the end of the trail, where we will meet the boat to take us back to Squamish.  At that point, it is presented to me with great fanfare!

After more than six weeks in a canyon pool, it works!

After more than six weeks in a canyon pool, it works!

The amazing thing: it is beaten, it is battered; it has spent over six weeks submerged in a turbulent pool of roaring canyon water… And it still works! Olympus, your “Tough” camera is indeed rugged! (Those marks on the back are scratches – the display is unbroken, and works perfectly!)