Sadly, but two short posts ago I had the same idea for a posting. ‘A new year’ and all that. Unfortunately, last year saw little progress on my goal of photographing all the waterfalls of Rocky Mountain National Park in each season. Partially this was due to my finding all forms of new distractions that kept me off the trails, and partially because I’m running out of the easy parts of the project. The hikes to see the waterfalls in their seasonal variability includes more and more very long hikes, or at least long and painful ones because it’s winter.
This visit to Lyric Falls was no different. The trail out of Sandbeach is always a tough start as it climbs straight up the ridge before leveling off (somewhat) and diving into the depths of Wild Basin. In the snow and ice, it was even more difficult. Microspikes and snowshoes saved the day as I lay track along untrodden trail, the snow ahead broken only by the criss-crossing paths of Snowshoe Hare, mostly invisible in their winter coats.
Reaching the Falls themselves involved a half-mile slog through deep fluffy snow that I sunk into to my hips, only to then catch my feet under the hidden downfallen trees and branches that litter the valley along Hunter Creek. Lyric Falls itself was nearly invisible under the snow and a fresh layer of fallen trees, fallen I think during the Great Rain of 2013 in September that flooded so much further down the watershed. It will have to wait until my spring visit to see if the pools that lay beneath the small falls look anything like they did before the rains or not. Even without being able to find the exact spots I had previously been, Lyric Falls in the winter was a quiet and solitary trickle of water between deeply snow covered banks, shared only by myself and the hares.