When we woke up the next morning it was overcast. Although in the summer it is warmer at the bottom of the canyon, in the winter it gets quite cold down there. The sun rarely climbs high enough to cast direct sunlight into the base of the crevasse. Rain was forecast too, but it was dry as we left, walking west-wards through the remainder of the campground towards Mooney Falls.
Mooney Falls are named after the miner and explorer James Mooney who died at these falls. There are two stories, one that he lowered himself on a rope which ran out, the other that he was climbing up with an injured companion. Both stories agree that he fell to his death these falls. The top of the falls have a beautiful view and less intrepid travellers stay here and don’t venture further down stream.
The reason some stay at the top is the precarious route down. The tunnel at the top was blasted by expeditions in Mooney’s time, the ladders currently at the bottom are probably more recent. I decided to keep my camera tucked inside my jacket for the climb and leave it to those with small video cameras to capture the descent. I did a quick search for Mooney Falls on YouTube and there are a few videos there you can watch. If you suffer from fear of heights or confined spaces, you may not enjoy them!
From the safety of the beach below the falls, this is what I’d just climbed down.
and this is why the climb was worth it!