My family is known for spontaneity, adventure, and hikes. This photo was taken on one of those many spontaneous adventurous hikes we have been on. As if I could not prove our commitment to these values any better, hiking in the middle of winter in the snow shows just that. On most Sundays when I spend time with my father, the first thing he always does is ask what I’m up to that day. If I reply that there is nothing on my schedule, it is fair game for him to decide what feat we will take on to seize the day. This particular time, he chose to take me and my sister to the Brandywine waterfall lookout. I have been there many times as a fellow Vancouverite, but only in the summer and never down below to the rushing rivers where you have to climb down the cliff side to see it. My father just bought four new pairs of snow shoes for the kinds of journeys he planned to take us on, and he took this as the perfect opportunity to put his money to good use! Since the waterfall can only be appreciated at an angle far away to the top right from the lookout, the only way to see the spectacular view was to ascend the trail, despite the ice and snow covering the ground. This is where the snow shoes were going to come in handy! We walked the first part up until the ice and snow became unbearable to walk over with the proper frilly hiking boots, which only gave us a few steps to spare free from the extra weight. When it came time we strapped on the snow shoes and continued down the trail that appeared somewhat steep and in my opinion risky, as I always seem to think hikes that go up or down are. We took our time maneuvering over frozen branches and rocks, and eventually made our way down to the level of the river, only to realize there were many groups of families that had the same idea. However when we met with them, they had told us they could not go any further due to the melting icicles falling down from dangerously high locations atop the cliff. They told us not to keep going, since these chunks of solid ice were the size of our heads or more, and at those heights the speed and weight would probably run down the cliff side and knock us out one by one, kinda like bowling pins. But a few pieces of falling ice was not enough to scare us into missing the grande finale view we had all been waiting for. The plan was to run past the one section that was surrounded by fallen icicles, and if we heard a chunk rolling down the hill we were to duck and cover our heads. It was a scary thought, but I tried my best not to think about the melting ice right above us. So we sprinted across the section of danger, and all survived safely further ahead where the danger section had ended. We had made it, and it was time to take our final steps towards the best view possible. I was famished at this point, as we had waited to eat until we got to our final destination, so at this point I was mostly excited to eat than to reach the waterfall itself. But once we got there, the view took us all by surprise as we were looking up at a gorgeously giant waterfall framed with icicles. The water kept running down the cliff, and fell right down into a whole in the ice that had once been a stream. Since we arrived a tad too late to see the sun completely illuminating the waterfall, we were still lucky enough to catch the golden lighting of sunset on the far wall of the cliff. We sat on the rocks by the waterfall in silence for a while scarfing down our sandwiches, and taking multiple photos from our phones. We hadn’t brought professional cameras, we didn’t know the view would be this amazing. We also prefer not to bring them, as that adds extra weight to the trip, and on the way up, everyone would regret bringing the damn thing as we have to rotate carrying it. But yet this gorgeous photo taken by my iPhone is enough to capture the view in its full glory.