Frozen Waterfalls

-Suzann

Backcountry Ambassador

Snowshoes – check. Snowpants – check. Warm clothes – check. I was mentally going over my packing list as I loaded the car with gear to set off into Hyalite Canyon near Bozeman, Montana. We weren’t sure what area we wanted to explore, but had a map of the area to choose from.

As we drove further into the canyon, the snow started to really come down like we were in a true winter wonderland. We finally found a pullout to park the car safely and get all geared up. This was going to be my first hike in my new Tubbs FLEX ALP snowshoes and I was excited to try them. I slipped my feet into the binding and easily tightened the straps around my boots with one pull one each side and secured the heel strap as well. I was surprised how easy it was!

Wandering into the woods of the canyon, we came across a family starting to cut down a Christmas tree (with a permit). Seeing how this was a precious family memory, we offered to take their picture next to their six foot Christmas beauty. A couple of pictures later, we were on our way again. Stopping only a couple of times to look at our map, and passing an unexpected uphill section that we were glad we had heel lift or else our calves would have been toast, we finally made it to a beautiful frozen waterfall. Next, we found a little ‘cave’ to sit and eat our lunch to get out of the snow for a bit while we gazed up at the motion stopped water. You could still hear some water trickling behind all that frozen glass as you tried to peer in and see where it was coming from.

For lunch we had brought a freeze dried meal, but instead of bringing the stove to make the hot water, we had boiled it at home and put it in one of those 24 hour hot thermos. Talk about easy squeezy! On our hike back down, I was definitely glad my snowshoes had the traction rails on the side which makes you slip less on the ice. (Which for me is needed, believe me!) Without any falls (minus the flop into the snow to make a snow angel) we made it safely back to the car. Surprisingly we saw the same family loading their car with the Christmas tree they had cut down. With a nod to the family and getting all the gear back in the car, it was a good day in the great outdoors.