When I was a teenager I spent two summers working at Camp Cadicasu when it was located in the Bragg Creek Area. Elbow Falls in Kananaskis Country was only about a 25 minute bus ride away from the camp site and was a weekly destination for the camp counsellors and campers. We spent a lot of time there over the summers. One time a fellow counsellor and myself did something completely stupid and jumped off the high cliff to the left of the image below into the pool at the base of falls. Both of us survived the jump but others haven’t been so lucky in the past and my partner in crime suffered a cracked sternum from our stunt!
As I grew up I also continued to head there quite bit, sometimes when I just needed to be on my own and in later years to try and capture some images of the falls. The last time I visited was in August of 2011 when I captured the following image.
Just last week I decided to go back to the falls to do a little light painting experiment of a grand landscape and thought that Elbow Falls would make a great subject. We had devastating floods in June of 2013 that really changed the local landscape and wiped out homes and businesses and changed peoples lives throughout Southern Alberta. It was my first time back to the falls since the flooding and I wanted to see how much it changed. Quite a bit I found out! Below is an image shot in September 2013 from just about the exact spot I took the image above.
As you can see things have really changed and while the falls are still beautiful and awesome to view they just aren’t quite as majestic as they once were. Notice that the trees to the left are completely gone and the river now runs down the far left side instead of straight down. Also where the river used to run there are deposits of gravel and the trees and pathways that used to be there (along with picnic tables, fire pits and benches) are all washed away! Who knows if that particular spot will ever be the same again. Will it be another 100 year s or even 1000 years before the river reverts back to it;s original and what I think more picturesque path. Mother Nature sure is powerful when she is angry and I have new respect for the power of water. While I was in the area I also walked up a couple for the creeks that feed into the Elbow River and saw lots of materials deposited by the waters as they rushed towards the Elbow River! It will really be quite a while before this area is back to normal again.
If you would like to purchase an image of the falls and remember it the way many of us growing up in the Calgary region did, I have made a digital download, personal license available over at my 500px site. The image is 3.00 + applicable taxes and can be used as desktop background or for non commercial web publication.
I also have two Artist’s Proofs of this image available for immediate delivery printed on Canvas with stretcher bars. Suitable for immediate hanging. Please contact me if you are interested. 30% of the proceeds of the sales of these Artist’s Proofs will be donated to the Southern Alberta Flood Relief Efforts.
Prints in various sizes are also available here!