Wells Gray Park’s Helmcken Falls has been getting some attention recently after a photo and video showing the landmark gained traction on the Clearwater BC Photos Facebook page.
The video, which was shot by Barriere resident Ellen Monteith, captures the waterfall as it continues to create a “snow cone,” which is formed when water from the falls creates a wall of ice at the base – notably in the shape of an upside down snow cone.
Monteith posted it to the Facebook group Clearwater BC Photos, where the views, likes and shares exploded.
“I was really surprised because to us, it’s quite a simple video and if you’re from the area, you see that (often),” said Monteith.
“Once it went viral, it was like, wow, it’s actually reaching a lot of people that wouldn’t normally see it.”
She said she was on her traditional Family Day excursion with her children on Feb. 18, this year deciding to take a trip to Wells Gray Park, when they went to Helmcken Falls and saw the snow cone.
“The kids went in one direction, I went in the other direction and just started video taping it.”
The other piece of media folks on the web have been checking out is a photo taken by Don Ehman, showing Helmcken Falls from an angle most likely unseen even by longtime locals.
The photographer managed to get behind the waterfall and snapped some pictures looking out from the cave, capturing some colourful stalactites and stalagmites in the frame as well.
Ehman has a couple theories as to why his image has become so popular.
“Two reasons I think: one is it’s such a spectacular location and it’s inaccessible, but the other is, in that particular picture, I (digitally) compressed the (photo of the cave) and it looks a lot deeper than it is. That cave is so spectacularly large, it’s hard to illustrate,” he said.
“It goes from one side to the other, it’s practically half a kilometre. So when I put this picture together I wanted to give the impression it’s more cave-like, so it’s a lot more compressed.”
As of going to press March 5 Monteith’s video had 6,866 shares and 336,060 views with overall viewing figures online using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at 816, 872.
Ehman’s photo had 172 shares and 18,624 views with overall viewing figures at 27,516.
Lisa-Marie Morgan, who’s an administrator for Clearwater BC Photos, said both are still climbing and the page is still receiving on average four requests a day for information about access to Helmcken Falls, local accommodations and other winter activities Wells Gray Park offers.
“In the first week, we were receiving on average 15 to 20 messages a day,” she said.