Recent New and Latest Information
Forthcoming changes and 2011 Workshops
January 26, 2011
Just want to address a couple points. Those of you who have sent me emails or pictures, your messages are not being ignored. I'm just focused on transitioning the site to the other server right now and will deal with those when I can. As far as the transition goes, I hope to have the changes complete within the next 2-3 weeks (knock on wood), which means potentially the official switch could take place as soon as the end of February. When this happens, however, not all the pictures may be ready to go, so there may be a period of catch-up.
The whole reason for this server switch is so I can administer the data for this website jointly with the World Waterfall Database. Both websites will be hosted on the same server and the eventual idea is to seamlessly merge the two entirely. I will be keeping this URL indefinitely, but will use it primarily as a more focused outlet of information while the actual waterfall data and pages will be the domain of the World Waterfall Database. For the immediate future, the two sites will still visually look independent.
I do still have a huge backlog of additions to get up from this past summer, and when the server switch goes down, that data will become available (but again the pictures may not be ready right away), so don't fret the shrinking "Recently Updated" box on the home page.
Some of you have also asked me whether I plan to conduct any Photography Workshops this year. The answer is YES, but I haven't laid out the groundwork for the classes yet. There will be at least four of them, the cost will be the same as last year ($150 / person) and I hope to have the schedule and locations posted by the end of February at the latest (at this point, all I can say is there will be at least one in Oregon, but where I haven't yet decided). The earliest class will be in May, so there is still plenty of time to plan.
The Reason for Measuring
October 30, 2010
Measuring a waterfall may not necessarily have any practical application (at least where hydroelectric development isn't involved), other than bragging rights and sometimes for use in tourism information. But humans like to quantify things, and waterfalls have been pretty poorly quantified as a whole. Take Oregon's Watson Falls for example. For the longest time it had been suggested to stand 272 feet tall. Where this measurement came from is unknown, but upon visiting the falls in 2009, we measured it and came up with a figure of 302 feet. Thirty feet of discrepancy isn't exactly huge, but it's significant in that Watson Falls was shown to be much closer to 300 feet tall than originally thought.
Fast forward to the summer of 2010. We were contacted by some folks in the Umpqua National Forest with whom this sparked a significant level of interest, because their data had always said the falls were 272 feet tall. After dispatching a professional survey team to the falls to take much more accurate measurements than we are able to do, they determined the falls to drop 292.7 feet - 21 feet further than originally thought, and only 9 feet shy of the measurements we took - which, for a waterfall of this size, is pretty accurate considering the consumer level tools we have at our disposal.
Even though this really doesn't have any relevant bearing on anything, its still gratifying to see our work paying off in helping to further understand the natural world in ways we thought we already knew and understood. Hopefully this will not be the last time we inspire such influence and curiosity.
Waterfalls of Washington Guidebooks
September 11, 2010
I may or may not have alluded to it in the past but I am in the process of authoring a series of guidebooks to the Waterfalls in Washington State. Since I have a graphic design background, my initial plan was to go the Print-On-Demand route and do all the work myself. However, the cost of printing may limit the scope of each volume to the point where it won't be what I envisioned. So I'd like to get some feedback from you all. Please take this two-question survey to help me gauge the interest levels of those of you who would buy my books. Based on your feedback I may end up publishing through different methods - but rest assured one way or another these books WILL be published.
September Workshop Openings
September 06, 2010
There have been a couple of cancellations for the September 19th Columbia River Gorge workshop and two spots are currently available. If you are interested in attending, there is now room. If you'd like to sign up, contact me as soon as possible to reserve a spot since the class is less than two weeks away.
The Summer Season Begins
July 15, 2010
As if someone flipped a switch, as soon as July hit summer seemingly did to here in the Pacific Northwest. While we were enjoying (or not) consistently mild, overcast and sometimes drizzly weather during most of June, the first week of July brought sunny skies and 90 degree heat. Snow in the mountains is still rather profuse thanks to the cool June, so the high country waterfalls will be flowing well for a while still, though this may delay the wildflowers a bit on the converse.
If its looked a bit quiet here recently, that's because it has been. I had little time to get out through June and I've added and updated the handful of falls I visited over the last month. The good news is over the next two months, I will be out in the mountains virtually non-stop. The bad news is you'll have to wait two months to see most of that content because I won't have time to deal with the updating, and when I do have time, I hope to be able to finish up the updated version of the World Waterfall Database so that project can finally expand as it needs to. Lots of stuff to look forward to this summer, so stay tuned!
Abiqua Falls is open again
July 04, 2010
Abiqua Falls near the town of Scotts Mills, Oregon had been closed off to the public by the owner of the land, the Mount Angel Abbey starting in April of 2010 out of liability concerns after a death at nearby Silver Falls State Park. Many in the hiking communities around the northwest were concerned over the future access to this site and urged the landowners to reconsider. Well fortunately for all who have or wish to enjoy the magnificent waterfall, the Abbey has once again opened the land to access as of July 2010. They plan on removing the sign warning that the land is privately owned and that access is not allowed and posting one stating the public is allowed to proceed at their own risk. So often private landowners would be much less willing to extend the effort and I, for one, applaud the Abbey for being so willing to work to continue to allow public visitation to the falls.
3-months worth of updates
May 31, 2010
Well I just discovered a whole slew of problems in transferring the Northwest Waterfall Survey data over to the World Waterfall Database, so that process has been halted entirely for the time being. That means that the three months worth of updates to this site that I've been sitting on will go up now instead of waiting until the transfer was finished. I've started the process of adding the new stuff and should have it completed by weeks end at the latest. Updates will be online for over 30 waterfalls, so check the Updates page to see the full list.
Interview with Hike Yeah
May 22, 2010
Last weekend while I was down in Portland conducting the first workshop of the year (and bagging some other waterfalls on top of it), I met up with Alex Head who runs podcast blog Hike Yeah and we talked it up for a while. You can listen to the interview on hikeyeah.com or download it through the iTunes store (click on Podcasts, search for "hikeyeah" and get number 48).
September Workshop in the Columbia Gorge
April 01, 2010
Due to popular demand, I've decided to hold the September photography workshop in the Columbia River Gorge as well, to be held on the 19th of September. We probably won't see much in the way of fall colors at this time, since peak foliage season in the Gorge is late October, but the low stream volume at that time of year will allow us to get much more intimate with many locations not otherwise possible. If you're interested, see the link below and sign up soon as the spots will go fast!
Data migration over the next month
March 21, 2010
I've begun the process of merging the Northwest Waterfall Survey database with that of the World Waterfall Database, and while this is going on I won't be making any updates to the data for this site. The process hopefully shouldn't take more than a couple weeks (depending on how much spare time I have), so the last couple updates that are waiting to go up will hopefully be online by mid April at the latest.