Kimberley's Steve Tersmette has published Waterfall Hikes In Southern British Columbia, documenting 100 of the areas waterfalls. Steve Tersmette photo.

Kimberley’s Steve Tersmette publishes “Waterfall Hikes in Southern B.C.”

A family-friendly guide to hikes to 100 waterfalls

Kimberley’s Steve Tersmette has published his second offering entitled, Waterfall Hikes in Southern British Columbia, a comprehensive guide to discovering waterfalls throughout the East and West Kootenays and beyond.

The book lists 100 waterfalls, 90 in detail with additional falls listed throughout its pages from the Alberta border to the Okanagan corridor.

“I wasn’t really sure how to feel about it,” Tersmette said about having the book done and published after two and a half years in the making.

“Initially I was relieved that it was done, but now I think there’s more excitement fuelled by other people getting their hands on it now. I think that’s what’s most exciting is seeing people’s reaction to this book and seeing their excitement over it.”

Tersmette was born and raised in Calgary and he and his two brothers were often whisked away by their dad to go on hiking and backpacking adventures in the mountains from a very young age.

When he finished post secondary in 2006, he made the decision to leave the city behind and settled on Kimberley as a new home base and it’s been home ever since for him and his wife and their two kids who were both born here.

“We wanted a quieter life and we definitely love the small town and having the mountains as our backyard,” Tersmette said. “And just having really, really uninhibited access to trails and lakes and forestry roads and mountains and hiking and climbing it’s kind of the complete package here.”

In 2017 Tersmette and his friend Shawn Emmett became the first people to traverse the Purcell Mountains on foot in the summer, after trekking from just outside of Kimberley all the way to Rogers Pass.

READ MORE: Broken backpacks and beaver fever; a Purcell adventure

Last year, Tersmette published East Kootenay Rock, which provides an update to a previous regional climbing guide from 2013 from Cranbrook’s Gord McArthur. East Kootenay Rock highlights rock climbing and some alpine routes throughout the East Kootenay.

Tersmette sought to make Waterfall Hikes first and foremost a family-friendly guide book. Over the course of two summers he would go on outings with his family and scout out and document waterfalls. Tersmette also shot all of the wonderful photos that accompany the words he wrote in his latest book.

As the second summer of research was wrapping up and he knew the manuscript was due the following spring, he started doing more solo quests to hike multiple waterfalls in a day and knocking off some of the locations that had longer hikes or more difficult access.

“Definitely spent many nights up forestry roads, sleeping in my truck waiting for the sun to come up so that I could hike to four, five or six waterfalls in a day on my own,” he recalled.

Tersmette also remembers one particular hike during which he had the closest encounter with a bear he’s ever had in the 35 years he’s spent exploring the mountains, and the first time he was genuinely terrified.

“I ended up on a trail near Castlegar and essentially ended up between a mother grizzly and two cubs,” Tersmette said. “I’ll give my dog a little bit of credit for scaring off the cubs and getting them off the trail and kind of pushing them back towards their mother, but that was a situation that could have got real, real bad really quickly so fortunate that it wasn’t.”

The hikes were, for the most part, short and sweet however, and that’s how Tersmette wanted to keep it. Most of the hikes that are detailed in his book can be done in a two-hour or less roundtrip.

Waterfall Hikes was published by Rocky Mountain Books, who also published the well-known hiking guide Mountain Footsteps by Janice Strong. Whereas Strong’s book has many challenging hikes and is perhaps geared more towards experienced climbers, Tersmette’s work serves as a family-friendly companion piece, showcasing hikes that are great for a wide range of people.

“There’s going to be lots of people that will get something out of that book, whether it’s photographers or even people with mobility issues or even just people who have an afternoon to kill and want to do something short,” he explained. “But I did really try to keep families in mind writing that book, because I know that was one of our struggles as young parents was finding these short hikes to do with little kids.”

Picking one favourite out of all the waterfalls he’s seen and documented is no easy task, but one that stood out in his mind was Margaret Falls near Salmon Arm. Tersmette said he didn’t know much about it previously and hadn’t seen many pictures of it.

It has a newly constructed wooden trail system that crisscross the creek back and forth before going up towards a dark, little canyon.

“You don’t see the waterfall until you get right to the end of the trail and you’re standing on this little catwalk over the creek and turn to the left and there’s this really cool, gorgeous cascade tucked into a rock gully and it was just such a pleasant surprise,” he said.

“I didn’t know what to expect if anything and it’s one of the ones that just has always stood out in that process. So I wouldn’t call it my favourite but it was definitely one of the more memorable ones to come across.”

Waterfall Hikes is available for purchase online, but Tersmette said he’d like to encourage people to buy it locally if possible, from stores such as Purcell Outdoors, Centex Market or the Kimberley Riverside Campground.

He said he is grateful to the local businesses and bookstores for their support and to Don Gormon and his team at Rocky Mountain Publishing for taking a chance on the project and ultimately producing such a beautiful book in the end.

Just Posted

1914
It happened this week in 1914

May 9 - 15: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

The Salmon Arm RCMP seize hundreds of grams of drugs in a raid in Sorrento on March 20, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
RCMP have suspect identified in rash of local thefts

Police have a suspect in a rash of recent thefts from local… Continue reading

Rotary Way is being repaved from 4th Street South to the second bridge, just past St. Mary’s School. (Barry Coulter photo)
Rotary Way being repaved along Joseph Creek

The Rotary Club is having a portion of its namesake trail repaved.… Continue reading

The Libby Dam on the Kootenai River in Montana. The dam created the Koocanusa Reservoir, which straddles the B.C./Montana border. (photo courtesy Wikipedia)
Outflow at Libby Dam to be increased

Volume increase to aid migration and spawning conditions for endangered white sturgeon in the Kootenai River

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read