Kimberley’s Steve Tersmette has published Waterfall Hikes in the Canadian Rockies, a follow-up to his 2020 book Waterfall Hikes in Southern British Columbia.
In the first book, Tersmette covers southern B.C., from the Alberta border to the Okanagan corridor. Tersmette’s latest offering covers Kootenay National Park and the Fernie area, as well as the Crowsnest Pass, Waterton, Kananaskis and southern Banff.
“It’s been non-stop since the end of 2018, so it’s been 300 waterfalls in the last five years that I’ve been too,” Tersmette said.
While he’s elected not to track the kilometres he’s put on his car, Tersmette thinks he’s done 1000 kilometres of hiking for each book.
“There’s some waterfalls I went to that didn’t get included, there’s some I went to twice,” he explained.
He released the first Waterfall Hikes in 2020, which he realizes was an “odd time” as it was during the peak of the pandemic, but it turned out to work out better than he anticipated.
“It almost couldn’t have released it at a better time; when people were needing to get outdoors and do something, so it actually worked out really, really well,” he said. “We’re just trying to keep the excitement going with these next two books for the Canadian Rockies.”
That’s right, with his second Waterfall Hikes just published, Tersmette already has a third in the works that will cover the north Rockies, from Lake Louise to Valemount.
These projects have been a huge undertaking requiring a great deal of work, but it’s all been worth it, Tersmette said.
“The places that I’ve had a chance to see the last few years, places I had no idea even existed,” he said. “I grew up in the Rockies and been hiking around here my whole life and saw places and valleys and things that I’d never seen.
“It’s cool to share that. A lot of people gravitate towards just a handful of hikes around Banff, or around Lake Louise, but there’s 100 hikes in this book, and 100 hikes in the first book and another 80 coming. So it’s kind of cool when you can show people places that they didn’t even know existed in their own backyard.”
So what is it about waterfalls specifically that make them so alluring?
“[They’re] hypnotic for sure,” Tersmette replied. “You can go from a completely turbulent, chaotic waterfall to something super peaceful all in a matter of weeks, just depending on runoff and streamflow, but waterfalls — they’re pretty special.
“And the great thing about waterfalls for the kids, is they get this really cool reward after a hike and you don’t have to get super high in the mountains or on top of a mountain to appreciate it.”
Tersmette’s books can be found here: rmbooks.com/book-author/steve-tersmette/