Friday, 8 June, 2012
It rained again over night - what a surprise! It was pretty cold as well, and the forecasted snow at higher elevations certainly came as expected. The clouds were fairly high, and you could see fresh snow pretty far down the tree line. The cold didn't make getting out of the sleeping bag any easier, but eventually I managed. It was close to 8:00 - the latest I'd slept I all trip.
I had some breakfast, then headed back north towards Paradise. My first stop was right on the highway at Christine Falls, where I stopped and shot a few different looks of the falls. There is a beautiful old stone bridge across the highway that you can get in the shot, and I think it will turn out well. I then back tracked about a mile to park at the trailhead for Comet Falls.
Like most of my hikes on this trip, this one didn't work out as planned. The trail for the hike went pretty much straight up, and before too long, snow started to fill in the trail. Someone else had made the trek not long before me (in the last week anyway) so I figured as long as I followed their tracks, I should be good. The sign at the start of the trail stating that you should carry a snow axe should have been an indication to me that maybe I should pass on this one. But no, I'm stubborn and I wanted to get a decent hike in. I continued up, trekking across a number of snow fields, that had pretty sheer drops down into the canyon below, had the snow given way. It didn't so I kept going. Eventually I couldn't follow the trail any longer.
As I headed back down, I noticed a cliff edge that I hadn't noted on the way up that gave a nice view up the canyon and into a waterfall. I'm not sure if it was Comet Falls or not, but I think the pictures will turn out well. At least I got something decent out of the hike. The way down was equally treacherous crossing the snowfields, but I took my time and made it back. The rest of the hike down was uneventful, and I was back at my truck in no time.
From there, I headed back north to Narada Falls. This huge waterfall was only .1 miles off the road down a snow covered by easily traversed trail. The wind had picked up and it was blowing a ton of spray off the falls, making it tough to take any pictures. About that time, the rain turned to snow and I found myself in the midst of a small blizzard. I had hoped to do a road ride this afternoon but it looks like this was now out.
Giving in to the elements, I headed to the Visitor Centre at Paradise, and had a hot lunch. I spent a couple of hours watching the snow come down, and backing up my photos to my laptop. There was a table near a power outer, which was very handy. There was no cell coverage or WiFi, so I've been totally out of touch for a couple of days, but it was good just to relax and warm up a bit.
I stuck around for about two hours, waiting for the weather to clear. But it didn't. The snow kept up, and so I headed out. I had a cool encounter with a cascades red fox on the drive down, and eventually the snow turned to rain. I stopped to buy some firewood, then headed back to camp. I spent a last night siting by the fire, relaxing and headed off to bed.