Elpoca Falls

Jan 28, 2012

It had felt like forever that I've gone to a waterfall at this point.  As per my last update, I've been waiting for the weather to either be winter or summer.  After a couple centimeters of snow in Edmonton, I assumed the mountains may have had a more favorable snowfall.  On my ride out towards Kananaskis, I had driven through some flurries in Red Deer.  This had sent my excitement levels through the roof. However this day was something of an adventure for both me and my companion that we didn't expect.

The night before we had watched "The Grey" in theaters, which we took as a potential omen to our next day's adventure.  Needless to say we both carried large knives during our hike in the Kananaskis Valley that day.  We had arrived at out destination, and parked at Evan Tomas for our long journey through the rough terrain.

In hindsight, the two of us would have preferred having snowshoes or skis to quicken our pace, as the snow was present and was thick enough for us to struggle to blaze trails.  1.7km into our journey we left the comfort of a maintained trail to enter the rugged landscape that would have us sweat at points.  We would eventually do 14km in total that day, always pushing for the next corner... "Just around that corner".

Just so that everyone reading understands, pushing yourself with that kind of mentality can be very dangerous, and will most times lead you to getting lost or worse, confused.  We had a GPS and map, and I've been hiking and have a good knowledge of the outdoors, so I don't recommend pushing yourself too hard when you get out there.

With 1.8km left to our journey we came across Mountain Lion tracks that were just shy of half the size of my hand.  These tracks were fresh, and the raging (at times) 10km winds, coupled with the light snow didn't cover the cat tracks at all.  As we were following the tracks we decided to keep going, while keeping an eye out through the woods, until they would eventually leave out sight.  We had stopped at a clearing at the peak of a small mountain near where the waterfalls should have been visible.  The snow had fallen and covered the once present river, and had since stopped the flow of water.

We started our journey back, but decided to stop to grab some air and refresh.  Just then the Mountain Lion was making it's presence known.  Still not visible to us, we noticed its movements in the trees, breaking twigs and rustling bushes.  The spine of the feline was enough for us to decide to keep moving.  We would talk loudly to each other and keep conversations going for our journey.

As you may be aware from the photo up top, this was another bust of an attempt.  Once again I will return to these waterfalls (with big knife in hand) and photograph these waterfalls for everyone to see.

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