Recent New and Latest Information
Workshops filling fast
March 07, 2010
If you're interested in signing up for any of the remaining photography workshops being offered this year, I'd suggest you do so quickly because they're filling up fast! Already the May and June classes are full, the July class has 2 spots remaining. Since everything is filling up quickly, I will be posting the date and location of the as-yet-to-be-announced September class within the next week or two.
In other news, I've been slow to get out and play in the mountains considering the mild winter we're experiencing here in the Pacific Northwest. With daylight saving time kicking in next weekend, I'm hoping to change that. WSDOT is suggesting the North Cascades Highway may be open by the end of March, so the season is fast approaching.
2010 Workshop Schedule Announced
December 31, 2009
The schedule and dates for my 2010 Waterfall Photography Workshops have just been posted. I'll be offering at least four classes this year, with a fifth, more rigorous backcountry expedition contingent on filling up, and a possible sixth class in September if the demand is there. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and happy new year to everyone!
End of the Season
November 19, 2009
The winter storms are quickly piling up and the snow in the mountains is already looking pretty impressive (Ski areas are all open a week before Thanksgiving, which seems to me to be earlier than last year). I got out a couple more times in the last two months but due to heavy work schedule haven't had the motivation to do a whole lot, so this will be a small update and probably the last major one of the year (though I may get to one or two of the lowland waterfalls between now and the year's end, and I probably have some backlogged pictures to upload).
Included in this update are a smattering of new pictures for some of the falls in the Columbia River Gorge, including the long awaited log-less Punch Bowl Falls. Measurements for all the falls in the Gorge I visited are also updated. Also new are four rather impressive waterfalls along Bear Creek in the Baker River drainage and Lower Sulphur Creek Falls near the Baker Dam.
Last announcement of the day, I'll be posting the schedule for my 2010 Waterfall Photography Workshops by the end of the year. I'll be offering at least 4 workshops this year, more if enrollment fills up fast. To pique interest, this year will see one held in the Columbia River Gorge, as well as Mount Rainier National Park and the North Cascades. Watch the blog for the announcement.
August Updates and New Measurements
August 29, 2009
I've been back at work full time for the last couple months now so I haven't have a whole lot of time to either work on the website or get out and take pictures. I haven't been backpacking at all since February and whether I get a chance to at all for the rest of the year is definitely in question. However, I do have some stuff to get up from the last couple months, mostly from the Rainier area so go look at the Updates page to see what's been added.
More interestingly, one of the falls I've visited more recently was Comet Falls. I'd been wanting to get up there again ever since I got my rangefinder and put to test just how accurate the often-cited height of 320 feet was. Well, turns out it wasn't accurate at all. I have no idea where that figure came from. 320 feet is almost squarely 100 meters so it may have resulted in a rope being dropped over the falls way back in the day, or it may have been an eyeball measurement. Either way, I trained my laser on it and pegged the total drop at a whopping 462 feet with the big drop standing 392 feet by itself! This doesn't make Comet Falls one of the biggest in the park necessarily, but it does elevate it to the next echelon of big waterfalls as I see it (and it also bumped it up a couple places on the Top 100 list).
Lastly, since I probably won't have a whole lot of new photographs to add for the rest of the year, I plan on doing another Geodata dump to the site over the next month, where I hope to add maybe 200-300 new undocumented entries to the database. I plan on doing my best on putting as much info online with these as I can, but none of them will have pictures or anything like that, so data miners take note, everyone else don't be disappointed when you see what little there will be to the new data.
One last note, work on the new World Waterfall Database site has been non existent for the last two months, but I plan on picking up on it again soon and the plan is still to get it launched this year. There will be plenty of announcements when the time comes close, so keep your eyes peeled.
Chelan Gorge returns to natural form
June 10, 2009
Since the completion of the Chelan Dam in 1920 the Chelan River and Chelan Falls have rarely flowed in any consistent manor, generally relegated to high-water releases during the late spring and early summer melt seasons. But as of this week, the Chelan PUD is releasing a substantial volume of water into Chelan Gorge to study flow patterns in hopes of restoring fish habitat in the gorge.
Beginning in October the river will be permanently allowed to flow down the gorge year round, though most of the year it will be in a reduced capacity because the hydro project is not being shut down entirely.
Unfortunately, as far as I've been able to tell, Chelan Falls itself is still going to be difficult to access. The County and PUD both apparently view the gorge as a liability and have in the past not allowed access to the best of their abilities. Whether this is still the case, I don't know.
Big Water in the North Cascades
June 03, 2009
I made a run up to the Ross Lake area yesterday and was absolutely astounded by the volume of water in pretty much every stream up there. Bacon, Goodell and Granite Creeks were doing their best impressions of the Columbia River, Gorge Creek Falls and Ketchum Creek Falls (among many others) were both by far as voluminous as I've ever seen (those of you attending next week's workshop should get to witness this yourselves if the warm temperatures hold out) and Ross Lake is nearly full. This means the spillways might actually be opened on the three dams up there soon, bringing to life the usually dry rapids in the Skagit Gorge above Newhalem. If this happens, go see it, its a rare occurrence and is quite spectacular to witness.
Bunch of Updates
May 27, 2009
I've actually been getting out and about over the last couple of weeks, so there's a slew of new data and pictures. Starting off, I made a two day (cut short by a day due to nasty weather) trip down to the Columbia Gorge to start measuring some of the waterfalls down there, which produced some interesting results. Turns out Latourell Falls isn't as tall as had been claimed, Horsetail Falls is actually taller than previously thought, and Elowah Falls was substantially overstated. You can see the results of my efforts under each entry (check the Updates Page to see which ones I visited).
Additionally, I spent the long weekend with a bunch of friends on Banks Lake and managed to slip out to hit a handful of waterfalls in the Grand Coulee area. Unfortunately the falls flowing into Banks Lake (Martin, Rusho Creek and Paynes Gulch) were all dry, but I did measure the cliffs and they turned out to be much larger than I thought. I also hit the three falls on the Nespelem River and Summer Falls, which is still publicly accessible despite what Greg Plumb's latest book might indicate.
Coming up in the next couple weeks I'll be leading another Photography Workshop, this one in the North Cascades corridor where the warm weather will hopefully make its impact felt and we'll see some serious power. Still room for 3 more attendees, so sign up soon!
Its about to get crazy out there
May 16, 2009
This weekend looks like the first weekend of summer of the year in the Pacific Northwest. We've still got a ton of snow in the mountains, so that means the rivers are gonna come up quite a bit over the next couple of days. Forecasts are putting temperatures somewhere in the 75+ degree range for much of western Washington on Sunday and Monday. I made a run to Bridal Veil Falls near Index today and it was running considerably higher than I'd ever seen up close before. The ice still waiting to melt in the Lake Serene cirque is only going to melt faster with the temperature spike so it ought to get pretty beefy by Monday afternoon.
I would highly suggest checking out some of the more seasonal waterfalls in the area this weekend. Snoquera Falls off Highway 410 ought to be flowing nicely (though I'm sure not nearly as heavy as what I witnessed almost exactly a year ago). The various falls along the North Cascades Highway ought to be good too. Just get out somewhere, there should be a good show everywhere.
Video of Kayaking Palouse Falls
May 14, 2009
[ Link ] Yep, this guy will have his nuts bronzed and hung in the halls of Guinness when he dies. The fact that it was done at high water is all the more amazing. Notice how once he's about 75 feet down the falls, he just completely gets enveloped by the falling water. I can't imagine he was able to see at all when the pool was coming up. Not that it matters, but he did pronounce it wrong, its Pah-LOOSE not PAY-loose.
April 29, 2009
According to the Seattle Times, kayaker Tyler Bradt has successfully (intentionally) run Washington's 186 foot tall Palouse Falls, absolutely incinerating the previous record of 127 feet set earlier this year on Salto Belo, located along the Rio Sacre - itself a tributary of the Amazon. Now the article seems to hint at there being photos of this feat, but it doesn't have any attached and I haven't seen any just yet, so the legitimacy of this feat has to be questioned until proof surfaces, but if this turns out to be legit, I think Mr. Bradt has not only redefined the idea of whether really really big waterfalls can be run in a kayak or not, but he has also completely eclipsed any previous preconceptions of how big one's testicles can get.