Backlit Falls

Photographing the Back of the Falls

We were rewarded by some great frozen waterfalls on our return hike to LaSalle Canyon following a week of cold weather. What melted away a week ago, has returned even better than before. The ice growing from the top of the overhang has connected to the ice building up from the canyon floor to create a curtain of ice.

The daylight shines through the ice curtain, illuminating the canyon walls with colors from the sky, rock walls, and minerals suspended in the ice. Ever changing, these curtains continue to grow until the weather warms, and freeze again once the temperatures drop. The intricate patterns on the columns of ice and the canyon floor also grow and change, and get more intricate every day with the addition of more and more ice.

Backlit Falls

Aside from the light filtering through, one of the most interesting things about the ice is the scale of the frozen waterfalls.  Even the small frozen falls are impressive, but when the ice grows to 40, 60, or even 80 feet to the canyon floor below, it's difficult to imagine the size unless you visit the canyon for yourself.

As the water falls from above, it collects on the canyon floor and begins to grow upward, in an ice mound.  The hanging ice eventually touches the growing mound to produce a solid column. The width of these columns can be over 20 feet in diameter, making the impressive icefall desirable for ice climbing.

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