Exploration: Limestone Canyon in the Walbran Valley

The dense, old-growth rainforests of Vancouver Island harbour unimaginable secrets. But even if you spent every moment of your life exploring them, you'd never unearth them all. That ceaseless mystery of what might lie around the next corner, over the next ridge, or up the next river, consumes my thoughts night and day. So with some time to spare this past Sunday, myself and a friend made the 3.5 hour journey out to visit the Walbran Valley. Arriving late in the day, we took off quickly down river to see a new grove of big trees and an immense log jam that were recently found by others just within the park boundaries. The log jam - which almost defies comprehension - is found in what you'd normally expect to be a small forest creek. This 'creek' however shows clear evidence that it turns into a raging torrent of flood water during intense winter rains. From there, we rock-hopped our way further upstream, and what we stumbled upon here was like nothing I have seen before. As the creek narrowed, the walls rose into a solid limestone canyon, sculpted into fascinating shapes by years of erosion and polished white by the flow of water and logs. Waterfalls gently cascaded into crystal clear pools while logs perched on ledges 20 feet high in the air stood as a subtle reminder of the hidden power of the creek. Visiting this remote area during a giant storm would be an experience to behold. But as the light began to fade we were forced to return home before venturing much further up the valley, leaving the mystery of what lies beyond to the imagination until the next opportunity to explore arises.