Maligne Canyon

January 31, 2015

Though my initial attempt would be Morrow-Hawk Canyon, I was chased off the mountain top by sheep.  So not a bad second option.  I've come to this canyon a few times now, but today was the first time I made it during a decent freeze.  Though this winter has mostly been a prolonged spring, it was cold enough in the early going of the day to keep most of the water locked away in ice.
This would mark the first time I actually attempted the ice walk along the canyon floor.  Little did I know there were many more waterfalls than I initially predicted.  Having only previously photographed 2-3 waterfalls from above, this time I would explore more closely and uncover them all.

The first thing I would mention is it would be handy to bring along some good cleats on your shoes.  The entire walkway to get down to the bottom is a slopped sheet of ice.  Moreover, once you make it to the ice walk it doesn't get much easier.

Thanks to the balmy weather this winter I'd be crossing parts of running streams as well as ice sheets along the canyon floor.  Let's just say the occasional stream didn't make my boots any better at gripping the ice.  Despite this warmer weather there were still ice climbers attempting the two large waterfalls in the canyon.  There were also a good deal of foot traffic I would pass that were exploring the canyon as well.  

From Below
From Above
What I didn't predict was the distance I needed to travel to meet up with all the waterfalls.  Having done this now I feel like in the future I should bring my +GoPro and get one of my videos of the hike.  Though it is straight forward, there were a number of small 1-2 meter waterfalls that were locked in ice that I would enjoy showcasing.

I do have to say it looks fun ice climbing.  Having watched two separate teams tackle different waterfalls in different ways, it looks adventurous, complicated and exhilarating.  As somebody who rock climbs occasionally I'm hoping that I can eventually get a pair of pick axes for myself one day.


Overall I would count five different waterfalls that are over a couple meters tall.  Two of which are used as ice climbs and one of which was wide and still running fresh water.  Though like mentioned earlier, there were more small waterfalls than I could count.  The next time I come (with ice climbing gear) I'll film the walk and the many little waterfalls on the way to the back of the canyon where you find the two ice climbs.