Last week, I talked about my discovery of the magic of moonscapes.  Waterfalls are also something else in this ethereal light.

But waterfalls spray water.  And spray in the winter quickly turns to ice.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

After securing our moonscape shots at Tunnel View, we drove down to the base of Bridalveil Falls.  There’s a short path to a lower viewpoint – not anything I’d venture to call a hike, even under the most liberal of definitions.

But it was impossible to traverse.

While we had crampons, the six-inch solid sheet of ice was slicker than a butter-dipped kid on a slip-n-slide.  The gentle incline wasn’t even steep!  Half of the path blessedly had a chain rail we could use to hoist ourselves up a few more inches, but we were out of luck once that ran out.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

A mere few inches from the final viewing area, I was reduced to literally crawling, just to have enough traction to continue forward.  And even then, it wasn’t enough.  I ultimately had to get help from my fellow ice adventurers – to step forward six inches.

This is what photographers do at 4am.

Of course, being right at the base of the waterfall, we were likewise graced with that same chilly spray.  And it sprinkled our cameras.  We had to be especially careful to wipe our lenses frequently lest the mist begin to freeze.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

I shot away from Bridalveil to capture the distant Ribbon Falls across the way as we each awaited our turn for the prime spot at the bottom of Bridalveil.

I finally got my shots – quickly removing my lens cap, composing, and shooting before my lens got too wet.  And not too surprisingly, my favorite shot wound up being the one at my (now infamous) special angle.  I just thought it filled the frame better this way.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

When we felt we were photographically sated and cold enough, we packed up to leave.  Lucky for us, the way back down was far more fun than the way up!  We were all bundled in our snow gear, so we just sat our bums down on the ice and slid down!  Whee!  I felt like a kid again.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

It was a fun little excursion, but it makes me smile now just to look at the photos.  How often have you had that much adventure at four in the morning?


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