Today I did something new: I hiked up the snowy South Side Hills, a section of the East Coast Trail directly opposite Signal Hill:

Ascent through the snow – Deadmans Bay Path

Lots of people were out and about on this beautiful day, and I was lucky that they all went elsewhere, I had these hills to myself. It was clear there had been other people up here in the days since the blizzard, and for the most part I followed their snowshoe tracks since I had no idea where the trail was underneath all that snow.

Snow on the trail – St. John’s

Up on top (one of the many tops) I had an awesome view of Signal Hill and the Narrows and all that was going on there:

Winter view of Signal Hill – Deadmans Bay Path

One thing that drew my attention was another outcrop of boulders and rocks, I figured I would have a much better view from there but for the life of me I couldn’t find an obvious way to it. Through my lens I saw tracks near the boulders so knew it was possible to get there…

How do I get there? – Deadmans Bay Path

I walked up and down the known trail to see where the tracks would veer off towards the outcrop, but I couldn’t find any tracks leaving the trail. That’s why I decided to just barge trough the snow myself to see how far I could get.

After much hard work ‘walking’ through dense vegetation and deep snow, I finally found the tracks I had seen earlier. Upon closer inspection I realized these were not man-made tracks at all, they were moose-made…

Man, these moose are something else! I followed in their tracks and you would not believe the kind of snow they can walk through. In a few places they even scaled fairly steep snow-covered cliffs! In the end I found my place on the rocks and took photos of everything that moved until it was time to go home, since my fingers were starting to freeze. Maybe when spring melts all this snow I’ll find an easier trail to this rocky outcrop.

Here’s some shots from today:

Nice work if you can get it – Signal Hill, St. John’s

These guys were fixing or replacing some sort of structure on the cliffs beneath the North Head, right next to Signal Hill.

Juvenile bald eagle – Deadmans Bay Path

I saw many eagles flying overhead on the trail, this is one of them. When I was driving home later I heard on the radio that 4 eagles were spotted near Quidi Vidi lake. I said to myself ‘only 4?’.

The radio also mentioned an otter and I hope someone got some good shots of him, personally I’ve not yet seen a wild otter here in Newfoundland yet. (Update: someone did get good shots: Flickr, those otter pictures are by a photographer I met on a night shoot not too long ago).

For a parting shot from my rocky viewpoint, here is the beautiful snowy Battery:

The Battery in winter – St. John’s