Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ribbon Falls in the Fall

Following Ribbon Creek to Ribbon Falls is a popular, long (17 km round trip), easy (elevation 350 or so meters) hike in the summer. The photo shown here is the creek we followed to reach the base of the mountain in the background. You will see the route marked in pink. Ten of us hit the trail head at 9:30 knowing there were folks ahead of us as there was already a large truck in the parking lot. The plan was to stick together and go at an easy pace, also to take time to stop at photo opportunities.
Just as we were getting into the groove, we heard a sound that I had heard before a few years back and it stopped us in our tracks. Having already checked up on trail conditions, avalanche risks etc. I stated that was the sound of gun shots ricocheting of the mountains. I said the website makes notice that hunting season is in effect. Hunting is not allowed though, in the Provincial Park which is on the west side of Highway 40 (where we were) but is allowed on the east side and the sound does echo and carry. I felt I settled everyones' nerves and then we carried on. Not 10 minutes later, we came upon the owners of the truck! Two fellows dressed in camouflage from head to toe, carrying covered rifles across their backs! Holy Shit! They had been hunting, with no success and were heading back to their truck. They started at 4:00 am! We were not telling them they didn't belong here, not when they had guns over their shoulders!

Forward ho along the trail, under an overcast sky shedding the odd snow flurry or sprinkle of hail or rain with a temperature hoovering around zero. The scenery was great with many opportunities for pretty shots. The creek was frozen in parts and flowing in others. As we slowly climbed, we came upon many waterfalls which were just teasers for the one at our final destination.
The further in we went, the warmer it got but yet the more snow along the trail along with many areas of sheer ice. Not to mention, we encountered mud too! My icers came in handy as did the gaitors. The wind came and went and came and went! When it came, it created a blur, a haze, an intriguing effect along the mountain tops.
We had to cross the creek on stepping stones at one point. At about the three hour mark we reached the backpacking camp ground where we stopped for lunch. It was only two minutes to the falls from here, but the picnic tables looked inviting. In the photo you can see the hoist for lifting up your food for storage away from the bears.
Lunch took about 30 minutes. I enjoyed my sandwich, veggies, trail mix, and of course, my coffee and two bite brownie! We headed up to Ribbon Falls where it felt much colder. Most of the falls had frozen but was still such a spectacular view with a thundering sound. We took lots of pictures and even got a group shot once other hikers came along to take it for us.
The hike back was much quicker and uneventful other than most of the ice had melted which made for lots of mud. At the last turn when we could see the parking lot, I let out a sigh of relief! It was a long hike and I was quite tired and thankful it was over! Now, I can hardly wait to get out again on another trail! At this rate, maybe the next time I will have to graduate to snowshoes! WooHoo!

3 comments:

  1. Wow. What a great post and such amazing pics. I would love to visit and hike that area someday. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Alexandra, hi

    Intriguing post complete with some suspense and danger: hunters with guns... Definitely a good idea not to point out to them that were acting illegally! Brilliant photographs; views in full the mountain in the background is most impressive.

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  3. Love the new signature =)

    The pics are stunning as usual. So jealous of your week-end expeditions!

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