On December 29th, 2015, Frank Ennis and his buddy Tony were skiing in the Rocky Mountains at the Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna, British Columbia on a crisp, clear, sunny winter day. It seemed a pretty routine run, if you can ever say that about schussing powder snow in a Canadian ski haven, but this day was different.
Frank and Tony were at the top of the mountain when they noticed an odd light, oval in shape, glowing on the mountainside about halfway down at approximately 1200 feet. The two friends skied down towards the object. Unlike chasing elusive rainbows or other atmospheric phenomena, Tony and Frank were able to approach this one quite closely. The first thought was that this was a sun dog—an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs when light refracts through hexagonal ice crystals. But this one was unusual in that only one was seen, and there was no halo observed around the sun.
In Norse mythology, these are called solvarg or “sun wolves”, which are said to hunt the sky trying to capture and destroy the sun and the moon. They are also described in the mythology and legends of many other cultures.
Tony skied very close to the phenomenon, and Frank observed that, as his friend came nearer, the light of the glowing object appeared to be penetrating through Tony’s body in spots. Thinking quickly, Frank grabbed his cell phone and snapped the photos of the phenomenon (accompanying this article).
Neither Frank nor Tony reported hearing or feeling anything unusual as they approached. When they returned to the spot a half hour later, the phenomenon was gone.
Was this just a somewhat unusual sun dog… or something else? Readers, feel free to comment.
All photos courtesy of Frank Ennis – All rights reserved.