Friday, July 26, 2019

RonnieAdventure #0370 - Spring Mountains - Big Falls,, Nevada

Similar to Little Falls, Big Falls is also located in what I call "Avalanche Alley." After the winter snows start to melt, the forces of Mother Nature are clearly visible in the avalanche areas. 

This is one of those hikes that was historically not published in any hiking books and the location was only shared with a few of your closest friends. However, since the advent of social media, the secret location of Big Falls is out and the hike can now be found on numerous web sites.

I remember the first time I hiked up to Big Falls -- It was in early May and I didn't even take a camera with me. Arriving at the frozen water fall I found a nice rock to sit on and while eating my lunch I heard a lot of loud cracking sounds and then the entire frozen water fall detached from the headwall and fell into the snow below. I was so amazed that I happened to be there at that precise moment in time and was able to witness such a dramatic event. And, it did make a sound, regardless of what philosopher George Berkeley thinks! I will never forget that experience. As I later discovered, the rock that I was sitting on was actually the top of a pinnacle that was about 30 feet high.

I returned again in June when water was flowing over the falls and as the water fell it sculptured various designs in the snow around the headwall and created tunnels under the ice pack. This time I had my camera with me.

During the first week in August I returned again and the snow was still melting. However, this time I could see the ground under the falls and there were several ice bridges and tunnels that had formed downstream from the falls. 

I am not sure it there were fewer butterflies and flowers on this trip, or if I just did not take as many pictures.

BONUS PICTURE (Sunset in the Spring Mountains)

Friday, July 19, 2019

RonnieAdventure #0369 - Spring Mountains - Little Falls, Nevada

Little Falls is located in what I call "Avalanche Alley" in the Spring Mountains. I have visited Little Falls a number of times, but it has always been in the spring after the avalanche danger has subsided. The below-pictures are from a combination of different hikes.

Each time I have hiked up to the falls, parts of the trail have been obliterated and covered with debris from the previous winter's avalanches. From the parking lot a Forest Service sign points to the canyon where falls are located, so hiking to the falls just requires staying in the canyon and scrambling over or around a lot of debris and obstacles.

Before reaching the falls, there are a series of ice caves formed by water from the falls running under the ice pack.

The falls are not very tall and due to the large amount of debris in the canyon it is difficult to take pictures of the falls themselves. It is also possible to look between the canyon walls and the ice pack to see some some additional falls located under the ice.

Several years ago two young men thought it would be great to crawl under the ice pack and explore the ice tunnels carved by the running water. While they were in one tunnel the entire ice field collapsed. The problem was that no one knew which tunnel they were in and it would take days or weeks to excavate all of the possibilities. One long-time rescue expert made a prediction of where he though they should start digging and his prediction was correct. Miraculously, after a number of hour of digging they found the young men still alive. Apparently the ice field had fallen such that the young men had a few inches of air space between them and the ice. Actually, now that I think about it, the incident did not happened at Little Falls, but it did happen in the general area.

Along the trail to the falls there are various wild flowers that bloom at different times of the year.

And, as a special bonus to the hike, there a number of butterfly species that like to hang around the wild flowers.

BONUS PICTURE (moon on a dark night)