April 18, 2014
Having been many months removed from this area of the mountains, I had hoped I would encounter some good weather. Although the weather outlook for the day would be a snow rain mix of 15cm/mm, I did end up with a couple partial cloudy breaks. One thing for sure though my last minute decision of bringing my snowshoes would prove an important piece to this trail.
There was a decent snow storm that hit this region the two nights before and as a result all the melted snow would then be blanketed once more. This isn't to say that such a storm will evenly distribute the early spring snow; as many times I found myself taking my snowshoes off to clip them to my pack and go in on foot.
Nearing noon I would receive a sunny day and the heat would pick up to 2 - 5 C; which with my pack and added snowshoes to carry, felt like the heat was an intense 10 - 12 C. The parts of no snow would be a muck, at times similar to a pig pen. When there was snow, in the later part of the morning into the afternoon, I would have the hardest time blazing he trail in such soft (nearly melting in my palms) snow.
The trail which was flat and seemed easy last summer, suddenly got more difficult with the adjusting weather system. The elevation is still slight for the first kilometre and a half, unlike the last time I would know that at the fork (2km) I could go close up along the Corall Canyon (left) or take a greater elevation challenge and go to the shortcut on the right. This day I would explore both options, keeping in mind that along the canyon wall there are no railings and at points there can be uncomfortable moments along the edge.
The view along the canyon, you have a vast opening with a sheer drop and some amazingly sculpted canyon walls. Something worth while for any mountain climber! Taking the shortcut you are headlong into the treeline, thought at some point the opening occurs where Mt. Stelfox shows itself. This unexpected beauty stopped me dead in my tracks to take in the peak with contrasting blue skies.
Both options however would pale in comparison to the ridge line along Mt. Stelfox. This is the intersecting point where the trails return together after being apart for a little bit over a kilometer. This ridge line is absolutely breathtaking! Having not expected this kind of view from along this elevation, I truly basked in the landscape. I sat still for what must have been 30 minutes, letting the wind lightly gust at my back and for the short trip I found myself speechless at the glorious view.
In order to find the waterfall you can take either trail. At the point where they intersect, you can back track 100 meters along the canyon side to see the falls; keeping in mind that this short back track will not be along steep cliffs. Otherwise you can walk up along the ridge line peeking back at the opening and vast clearing, with the waterfalls visible in the forefront. The waterfalls drop off what seems like an endless cliff, and on this day were frozen in time with some azure blue snow.