Eagle Creek Metlako Falls Viewpoint

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DouggieFir
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Eagle Creek Metlako Falls Viewpoint

Post by DouggieFir » December 29th, 2016, 8:23 pm

Took a trip up to the viewpoint today, Turns out the landslide was much much bigger than i thought, It was a lot more than just the viewpoint, A 300-400 foot long section just fell right in to the creek! A little dam was formed and backed up the water possibly making Metlako a couple feet shorter for a while, Good swimming hole if you find out a way down there. The sight was spectacular to see in person! The size of it is just unbelievable! Walking down the trail to the viewpoint and all of a sudden this great canyon is right there.

The trail down to the viewpoint comes to an abrupt end.
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This was taken just down stream of the former viewpoint, 2 trees are just barely holding a ledge from collapsing in, This may be the last view of Metlako from this angle for a while... As i don't think this view will last for very long either.
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There is the viewpoint... On the bottom of the canyon. You can see the dam it created, Water was very clear! That spot had to be 20+ feet deep.
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Down stream section at the bottom of the canyon.
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Got a very tight view of the former viewpoint...
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Splintercat
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Re: Eagle Creek Metlako Falls Viewpoint

Post by Splintercat » December 29th, 2016, 9:03 pm

Wow! Great photos, Nathan! :shock:

In the third photo, it looks like water streaming down the cliff on the extreme left... is that right? Could explain the collapse if there was change in the water table that was a moving water under the viewpoint. There's a small ravine to the south (upstream) side of the spur to the viewpoint, so it would be odd to have water not following that path over the cliff... hmm...

In the fourth photo there appears to be a mammoth chunk of basalt that managed to stay intact -- otherwise, a few large boulders and a lot of loose stuff that Eagle Creek will make quick work of over the next couple years. Fascinating to see this unfolding.

Thanks for posting!

Tom

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DouggieFir
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Re: Eagle Creek Metlako Falls Viewpoint

Post by DouggieFir » December 29th, 2016, 9:08 pm

Splintercat wrote:Wow! Great photos, Nathan! :shock:

In the third photo, it looks like water streaming down the cliff on the extreme left... is that right? Could explain the collapse if there was change in the water table that was a moving water under the viewpoint. There's a small ravine to the south (upstream) side of the spur to the viewpoint, so it would be odd to have water not following that path over the cliff... hmm...

Thanks for posting!

Tom
That was the stream right next to the viewpoint, My guess is that the reported crack a month back made the stream seep in to the soil and just got the ground loose enough to collapse.

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Splintercat
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Re: Eagle Creek Metlako Falls Viewpoint

Post by Splintercat » December 29th, 2016, 9:15 pm

That makes sense -- which also means that shot is looking directly down from where the viewpoint was... yikes! I'm still not totally sure what I'm looking at in the last photo... was that taken downstream from the former viewpoint...?

BTW, these are scary to look at... I'm hoping you had one hand and both feet wrapped around a vine maple as you looked over the (crumbling) edge...? :D

-Tom

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Re: Eagle Creek Metlako Falls Viewpoint

Post by DouggieFir » December 29th, 2016, 9:22 pm

Splintercat wrote:That makes sense -- which also means that shot is looking directly down from where the viewpoint was... yikes! I'm still not totally sure what I'm looking at in the last photo... was that taken downstream from the former viewpoint...?

BTW, these are scary to look at... I'm hoping you had one hand and both feet wrapped around a vine maple as you looked over the (crumbling) edge...? :D

-Tom
The last photo was just down the trail, Happen to see it peaking out a bit as i was heading down, It wasn't very crumbly actually, But you bet i was holding on to those trees! If i felt any movement i would've bolted out of there! I just had to have one last look at Metlako, One of my favorites.

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Re: Eagle Creek Metlako Falls Viewpoint

Post by justpeachy » December 29th, 2016, 9:29 pm

Oh wow! Thanks for posting those photos. Very sobering.

I don't see anything posted on the Mt. Hood National Forest website or the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area website about this. Were there any signs or caution tape or anything official-looking? I know it's the holidays, but given the Forest Service's paranoia about liability I would think they would jump on this.
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DouggieFir
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Re: Eagle Creek Metlako Falls Viewpoint

Post by DouggieFir » December 29th, 2016, 9:32 pm

justpeachy wrote:Oh wow! Thanks for posting those photos. Very sobering.

I don't see anything posted on the Mt. Hood National Forest website or the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area website about this. Were there any signs or caution tape or anything official-looking? I know it's the holidays, but given the Forest Service's paranoia about liability I would think they would jump on this.
Not even a single hint of the FS doing anything along the trail, Haven't read the board at the TH though, Not sure if they say anything about it there.

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Splintercat
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Re: Eagle Creek Metlako Falls Viewpoint

Post by Splintercat » December 29th, 2016, 10:17 pm

I sent an email to the Forest Service tonight, pointing them to this thread.

Tom

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retired jerry
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Re: Eagle Creek Metlako Falls Viewpoint

Post by retired jerry » December 30th, 2016, 6:50 am

I wonder if the dam will fail catastrophically causing a large flood?

Probably not, looks like it will just slowly erode away

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Re: Eagle Creek Metlako Falls Viewpoint

Post by BigBear » December 30th, 2016, 9:38 am

Thank you for braving the elements and supplying us with the pictures.

The USFS really missed the ball on this situation, not only leaving the slide area open, but not even recognizing an issue when the crack appeared. Fortunately, the slide occurred when no one was on the VP. I wonder if they have any plans for the Tish Creek bridge. All those trailhead fees, wonder what they are doing with them?

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