Visual Narrative #014: Helmcken Falls-summer & winter

VN #014: Helmcken Falls; summer/winter

Posted January 14, 2024


Helmcken Falls; summer and winter

 Most of my photography over the past several decades has taken me westward into the vast, relatively unknown Chilcotin region of central BC. In 2009, however, while working on the book Motherstone: British Columbia’s Volcanic Plateau, I followed flows of molten lava eastward into Wells Gray Provincial Park. It was here that I witnessed the Earth’s creative power; the sculpting of volcanic mountains; followed by their fragmentation.

Some 3 million years ago, through gaps above the North Thompson Fault, the mountains of Wells-Gray rose hundreds of feet above the Earth’s crust, layer upon layer upon layer. More recently, water draining through ancient cracks, freezing and thawing throughout the seasons, breaks the basalt apart. Mountains disintegrate and water falls emerge.



During summer months, Helmcken Falls is easy to visit and photograph. Visitors can drive to a large parking area and walk to a viewing platform.

In winter, when summer tourists have left, Helmcken Falls forms a spectacular wintery volcano – in reverse. This is Earth expressing herself as art.

As the photographer, these volcanic colours, fiery textures, and artistic shapes, evoke emotions; I follow them.


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