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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interfor’s Castlegar mill is getting $35 million in upgrades. Photo by: John Boivin
Interfor to invest $35 million at Castlegar mill

Project will enhance productivity and competitiveness

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Paul Chung is working as an early childhood educator at Cornerstone Children’s Centre in Nelson. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Immigration pilot targets hard-to-fill jobs in West Kootenay

Program helps newcomers get permanent residency status in rural areas

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read