Thursday, February 7, 2013

Icy Snowshoeing in early January

It was early January, the inversion was still heavy and snow was thick enough for snowshoeing, so off we went, out of the city and into nearby Water Canyon.
Snow and aspens in Water Canyon.
The rocky area, not quite covered with snow and ice.
After trudging a ways up the canyon, we came to third-mile creek crossing, which had a narrow snow bridge packed across it's downstream side.

We stopped for a few photos.
Standing on the snow bridge, looking upstream at the small, frozen waterfall.
Closeup of the waterfall area, frozen and covered with hoarfrost.
Frost crystals were growing here and there across the iced-over creek, especially near the edges where feathery and leaf-like crystals were growing outward from the snow.
Frost crystals with snowshoe for scale. Crystals in the next photo are located in the left center of this photo.
Enlarged frost crystals, shaped like leaves or flower petals.
Hoar frost "leaves" and ice needles or spikes.
Where these frost crystals had grown upward from their ice base, they looked like flowers to us, but they are not the same as frost flowers (which is what we wanted to call them).
Delicate feathery ice around the edge of larger hoarfrost formations.
And finally, we looked off downstream at more snow, ice, and hoarfrost, and set off back down the canyon.