Searching for the Wasootch Creek Outhouse in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.
Following the truncated morning hike on Wasootch Ridge in the morning, lunch in the car is accompanied by rain creating pleasing and relaxing, random rhythms on it's metal skin. The rain passes as lunch ends and blue sky opens up allowing warm sun to accompany the hike up Wasootch Creek.
Wasootch Creek is very wide and rocky. What little feature had been established in past decades was wiped away by flood water. Running water is largely underground but June 2013 flood water has carved deep furrows in the broad channel and left lumber debris and felled trees strewn over the surface. Huge, multi-ton boulders have been tossed around like pebbles in the unrelenting force of powerful water.
Groups of students are clearly enjoying formal climbing instruction on the southwest-facing wall of Wasootch Ridge. There are a series of climbs of varying degrees of difficulty along several slabs. Most of the climbs are top roped but a few lead climbs are available in this easy to access, clearly signed and popular area in Kananaskis Country. All climbs are documented in the iconic guide Sport Climbs in the Canadian Rockies authored by John Martin and Jon Jones.
And, on the other side of Wasootch Creek, the old outhouse is standing firm. The picturesque, old wooden outhouse is tucked into a forest alcove at creek level and certainly vulnerable to high and fast water. It is an important fixture.
On the return hike, another inspirational feature is two balsam poplar trees in the very vulnerable middle of Wasootch Creek. One of the trees, long known as 'the Slingshot', has been dead for many years but it remains stubbornly standing. The companion tree is brilliant with new foliage glistening in the sun. These trees have survived many floods over many decades and they stand as inspiration to everyone for the ability to survive against all odds.
Landslides and soil erosion have occurred on the side of unnamed peaks. Some of the timber debris likely originated from these slides. Mount Lorette and colorful Mary Barklay's Mountain command the view west on the final stretch over rocky terrain.
Back near the bridge over Wasootch Creek at Kananaskis Trail, the view upstream features excellent profiles of Wasootch Ridge and young balsam poplar trees are establishing their presence. Flood debris accumulated around their base and river bed erosion gives the illusion they were just deposited by a landscape company and are now waiting to be planted.
There is still time to hike a short distance back upstream for investigation of the water features along a gravel road noticed from the top of Wasootch Ridge earlier in the day.
These photographs of Wasootch Creek flood damage were taken on June 2, 2014.