I’d heard the waterfalls at Starved Rock were more spectacularly frozen than they’d been in years, so a couple Sundays ago (March 2), I drove the 90 minutes from Oak Park to take a hike and do photography. I wasn’t disappointed. The falls in LaSalle and Tonti Canyons looked frozen in place, although you could hear water flowing inside the ice at the LaSalle falls. To top it off, there were several ice climbers at the Tonti Canyon waterfall. Ice climbing in flat Illinois. Now that’s something most people don’t know you can do here. Have a look at some photos here and view a short video on Vimeo here.

One thing I didn’t have, but could have used was some type of walking crampons, as the trail conditions were very slick. Ice underlay a few inches of snow. At one point my left foot slipped off a small footbridge. My shin smacked the edge of the bridge which wasn’t fun. I didn’t realize I actually gashed the shin until I returned home. I’m all healed up now. I’ve since discovered YakTrax, which I’ll buy before my next winter hike in rugged terrain. They’re way cheaper than a broken leg.