Spahats Falls

Spahats Falls, a panoramic view from 2011, because it’s waterfall Wednesday.

At the time we visited Wells Gray back in 2011, we only had the standard 18-55 mm lens for our SLR (28-82 mm 35-mm equivalent). The gorge into which this waterfalls drops is immense and can’t be captured in a single shot, so I took about a dozen photos to capture the scene and stitched them together later in Hugin. And I have to say I’m pleased with the end result. There’s still little idea of the actual scale of the waterfall – it’s a 60-m/200-foot drop – but overall, I feel it captures the gorge quite effectively. It definitely helps that the spring runoff was at its peak as later in the season the waterfall was barely a trickle by comparison.

One of things I remember most about Wells Gray is not the waterfalls, but the volcanic features: the canyon walls contained enormous thick layers of columnar basalts. It must have been quite the scene to see such a huge lava flow.

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Grouse chick

Cute little ruffed grouse chick, the only one left in the brood by the looks of it

We were hiking up to a viewpoint above the basalt columns at Easter Bluffs when we came across a mother grouse and her lone chick. Grouse usually have a brood of half-a-dozen or more, so something clearly didn’t go right for this little bird. The basalt columns were impressive, if very hard to photograph, though our enjoyment was tempered by the incessant mosquitoes. I couldn’t wait to be done hiking that day!

Power

Close-up of the base of Helmcken Falls – the rain in Vancouver feels a bit like this at the moment 🙂

Another view from the south rim of the bowl into which Helmcken Falls drop. I really like this close up shot of the water at the base of the falls where it’s spraying back up again. It begins to capture the incredible power of this waterfall.

It’s Waterfall Wednesday again, and tonight in Vancouver it feels like we’re living at the base of one giant waterfall from the sky…

Helmcken Falls – again

This is the scary view of Helmcken Falls, just a few feet from a sheer 140-m plunge into the bowl below. Unlike the main tourist viewpoint, there is no safety fence here, nothing to stop you falling into the maelstrom below. Make no mistake, this was a damn scary place to be – the falls are really loud and intimidating, and the edge of the cliff overhangs slightly. The four of us found that the best way to deal with it was to sit or lie down a few feet back from the edge; that felt much safer. There was a small tree to hang on to which we used to peer over the edge. Still gives me butterflies…

The get a more visceral sense of where this photo was taken check out the short video clip I took: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUmSwOK4tFk

To get here is a 45-60 min walk on a level, forested trail. To be honest, it’s a pretty boring walk but the adrenaline rush of being so exposed more than makes up for that!