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Drama at the Falls


Out of shape with heart pounding at the San Juan Mountains on St. Patrick’s Day, I slowly traversed up the steep icy/snow covered slope toward the roaring falls. It was a warm spring day which made the icy surface very slick. I was fortunate that someone else had left their boot imprint earlier in the season when the snow was softer allowing me to gain a foothold. Later on, I felt a little foolish when I found out that the north trail was dry which obviously would have been much easier to traverse.

The south path I took was only a ¼ mile hike but because of the conditions it took over 1/2 hour to reach my perch. It was also very windy so the spray from the falls was swirling around making photography difficult. The falls consisted of equal amounts of ice and water. Because of the warm conditions, huge chunks of ice were breaking off the 100′ cliff face making a loud roar as it shattered into pieces at the bottom floor.

On my left as seen in the picture, natural ice sculptures on a self overlooking the falls looked as if they where heavenly bodies monitoring the transformation of winter into spring.

I was fortunate to capture a giant chunk of ice the size of a small boat free falling (bottom central). I purposely increased my shutter speed to better capture the fractured water and ice as it loudly cascaded down the rocky cliff face.  At the base, a large tall glacier had formed from the overspray of the  nearly 100’ tall falls.

I felt blessed to be able to witness nature at its finest as winter was giving way to spring…

Wishing you all a happy blessed Easter!



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