The prospects weren’t good: It was rather warm for January, there was little snow left and we were concerned the ice bridges were weakening. Then things got worse: it snowed quite a bit, the roads got rather treacherous and some seriously cold temperatures were in the forecast for the day of the hike on Waiparous Creek, January 28, 2023.

But you can’t have a good adventure without a little hardship right? We had a great turnout of some 15 hardy AWA supporters to join Heinz and Kris, the sun broke through occasionally and the new snow made everything more beautiful. Although it was also a bit of a slog tracking through the deep snow, we were distracted by the occasional ponds of open water, the sound of the river flowing under foot (under the ice), and the occasional air hole through the ice where we could hear and see the flowing water. The canyon walls were steep and high, with either forest cover or bare rock on either side.

Eventually, after a brief break in the dappled sun, we hiked up along a flowing spring through steep forest back to the parking area via an easy walking trail. Along the way we stopped at a new memorial bench for David Lertzmann who died in an encounter with a grizzly bear at that spot almost two years ago. The hike was concluded with hot drinks and treats at the Ungers’ in Benchlands.

Text: Heinz Unger
Photos: Devon Earl and Catherine Wilde