Finally... The big falls on Whale Creek, without a rope!

Discussions and Trip Reports for off-trail adventures and rediscovering lost trails
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Koda
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Re: Finally... The big falls on Whale Creek, without a rope!

Post by Koda » December 17th, 2013, 9:24 am

I live vicariously through your reports this one captures the adventure beautifully I could imagine myself along for the adventure each step of the way, well written. The photos are beautiful and really captured the scene. All the falls are so photogenic and the big one is definitely the grand finally. Reports like these keep me inspired to get back out there…
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BrianEdwards
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Re: Finally... The big falls on Whale Creek, without a rope!

Post by BrianEdwards » December 17th, 2013, 9:57 am

kokopelli_27 wrote:Speaking the feel, Brian, on the first trip we didn't venture into the cave because of daylight remaining constraints...but the ampitheater felt heavy - like humans weren't meant to be there or we had stumbled upon some not-to-be-mentioned magical place - we were awestruck. The second trip we made into the bowels of the cave (with some mishap) and I had the same feeling...I haven't felt this way with such magnitude in all my experiences in the wild.
Well spoken, Evan. Not sure I could describe it any better. The first three falls are loud, rocky waterfalls. The canyon itself is foreboding. Then when you get to the big falls, not only is it tall, it's a different type of rock, and the water is falling off the cliff so gently, in a fine mist. Magical is a good way to put it
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BrianEdwards
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Re: Finally... The big falls on Whale Creek, without a rope!

Post by BrianEdwards » December 17th, 2013, 11:44 am

Guy wrote:Great to see a classic "Brian Edwards" exploration report again!!

I was beginning to think you might have retired ;)
Thanks Guy! Truth be told, adventures are becoming harder to come by up the Clackamas. Still have a few loose ends to tie up though. Not hangin it up yet :)
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

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BrianEdwards
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Re: Finally... The big falls on Whale Creek, without a rope!

Post by BrianEdwards » December 17th, 2013, 12:42 pm

Koda wrote:I live vicariously through your reports this one captures the adventure beautifully I could imagine myself along for the adventure each step of the way, well written. The photos are beautiful and really captured the scene. All the falls are so photogenic and the big one is definitely the grand finally. Reports like these keep me inspired to get back out there…
Just returning the favor Wayne, ala compass creek
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

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Peder
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Re: Finally... The big falls on Whale Creek, without a rope!

Post by Peder » December 17th, 2013, 2:04 pm

Great TR Brian! Those are fantastic falls. One day, hopefully I will have an opportunity to go see these wonders...
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BrianEdwards
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Re: Finally... The big falls on Whale Creek, without a rope!

Post by BrianEdwards » December 17th, 2013, 3:05 pm

This adventure is right up your alley Peder. It's only a little bit harder then the South Fork adventure you went on a couple years ago :P
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merelunacy
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Re: Finally... The big falls on Whale Creek, without a rope!

Post by merelunacy » December 17th, 2013, 3:34 pm

Thanks Brian for an awesome adventure. :D Here’s some pictures I took on the trip with some narrative. The morning started off looking like a sunny day.
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Along the creek ice clung to it’s banks. Naturally I had to grab a shot as we looked back to see the morning sun rising.
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Further up the creek as we started to gain elevation I noticed how thick the ice was getting on the creek.
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The trek was a bit trying in places, but hiking next to this cliff we got to move a little faster.
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It really was beautiful to see and a bit scary when walking by this part of the cliff.
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Lower Whale Creek Falls was just as pretty as I remembered it. When I was taking pictures I noticed the ice was even thicker on top of the creek. As we started up the creek I grabbed a few shots of the guys.
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The next leg of our hike was sketchy going up a muddy bank and tumbling over logs. Well at least I was, :lol: . By the time I got my bearings we were already at the next falls. At this point is when I notice that the creek was frozen over here.
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Getting up past Middle Whale Creek was somewhat tricky for me. It was really steep in some places.
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Following along another cliff side there was plenty of icicles to be seen.
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Next up we reached ‘Midmost’ Whale Creek Falls. This was a nice place take a break and eat.
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Continuing onto our last trek of the journey we searched for a gulley to go up. If you look closely in this picture you’ll see Timothy watching out for falling icicles.
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Eventually Brian found the narrow gulley we needed. This was sketchy for all of us. The pay off was worth it though. Whale Creek Falls was magnificent to see.
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On the way back just before Whale Creek Falls was this side drainage.
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My heels were dragging by the time we got to the truck, but it was well worth the work. Thanks Brian for an awesome adventure! Let us know when you want to go on another. :mrgreen:
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Rustygoat
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Re: Finally... The big falls on Whale Creek, without a rope!

Post by Rustygoat » December 17th, 2013, 6:14 pm

After reading so many of Brian Edwards epic trip reports and trying to get there on my own, it was an honor to be there for this trip. Melinda and I had made a trip to Lower Whale Creek Falls earlier this summer, quite the bushwhack. Getting there on Saturday with Brian seemed a lot easier than before. I only pulled my camera out when we got to a waterfall, so I'm glad Melinda grabbed the pictures she did. She is really good at photo-documenting our adventures. Melinda placing her rose at Lower Whale Creek Falls.
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This waterfall in itself is worth the bushwhack. Little did I know what was in line for me upstream. Lower Whale Creek Falls.
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This was Brian's second trip to the second falls, so he had an idea of where to go. Really an amazing waterfall, Middle Whale Creek Falls.
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At this waterfall we had to cross the creek, which was easy since it was frozen over. Melinda and Brian standing on the creek taking pictures. :o :shock:
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As the adventure continued we made the steep climb at the second falls and Brian found a way above them. After Melinda and I caught up to Brian we made our way up the third falls, Alder Falls. Melinda gazing upon Alder Falls.
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Brian staring in awe at the awesome falls. This trip was amazing, each waterfall seemed to be progressively more impressive.
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Again Brian found a way above the third fall. Melinda and I followed him up the narrow gulley and beyond. Brian, Melinda and I were all amazed we had gotten this far. A little ways past the top of Alder Falls I spotted something through the trees; ice and falling water. Brian made his way towards the creek and headed up, while Melinda and I stayed higher on the path towards Whale Creek Falls. Really amazing we made it this far. Melinda at Whale Creek Falls.
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This trip was a lot more than another number waterfall for the year, it was an epic adventure. I'm really glad that Brian invited us along to see these epic waterfalls. Just over a mile bushwhack, with around 1300 ft elevation gain and loss... Whale Creek Falls.
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Thanks Brian! :D
Tim

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pablo
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Re: Finally... The big falls on Whale Creek, without a rope!

Post by pablo » December 17th, 2013, 7:40 pm

Brian, et.al., fantastic journey, thx for posting. I'm pretty sure Brian has been wanting this one for quite some time, congrats to you guys on this achievement.
Guy wrote:Great to see a classic "Brian Edwards" exploration report again!!
I was beginning to think you might have retired ;)
Ha! Not all explorations have associated reports, if you only knew...

--Paul
The future's uncertain and the end is always near.

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BrianEdwards
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Re: Finally... The big falls on Whale Creek, without a rope!

Post by BrianEdwards » December 18th, 2013, 12:32 pm

You'd be correct, Paul. We need to make a big shuttle hike through the fish creek drainage next year.
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

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