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

Accused drug trafficker to plead to federal, provincial charges in June

Matthew Straume said he’d missed his last court date because he was ill

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Rossland City Council issued a press release critical of Mayor Kathy Moore's travel to the U.S.
Rossland council addresses issue of mayor’s travel to U.S.

Prior to her trip, some councillors and staff expressed deep concerns about her plans

Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks sex crimes trial adjourned until summer

The trial was set to begin at the city courthouse Wednesday, May 5

Photo: Kathleen Saylors
Grand Forks city council votes down motion to support Penticton in paramountcy battle

Coun. Neil Krog insisted Penticton’s issue with Victoria is about city bylaws, not homelessness

Four homes in Johnson Flats were at serious risk of falling into a neighbourhood section of the Kettle River, according to capital project manager Justin Dinsdale. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks shields riverside homes against erosion

Crews have built a modified dike along a section of the Kettle River in Johnson Flats

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Mary Kitagawa was born on Salt Spring Island and was seven years old when she was interned along with 22,000 B.C. residents in 1942. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds health services for survivors of Japanese internment

Seniors describe legacy of World War II displacement

Most Read