I had been to the waterfalls Edmund R. and I rappelled last Saturday many times before and was estimating them to be around 125'. We brought 200' of rope and a 200' pull cord which should have been more than enough but when we hiked to their base and I took a look at the first one with an eye for rappelling I saw a whole other level and and told Edmund it was over 200'.
It looked like we would be able to stop part way down and set another anchor so undeterred we hiked on up the trail to the second fall. This one is almost identical to the first and once again I estimated it to be very close to 200'. The only way to find out was to go up and then down so that is what we did.
After a short but very sketchy scramble up to the top we scouted out anchors and picked a very nice rhodo for the honors. I rigged it up and stepped over the edge first with thoughts of “Is the rope long enough?” ringing through my head.
Looking up at Edmund at the anchor:
Looking down at the unknown:
No matter how many times I have seen these waterfalls before they never cease to amaze me. These two falls have always looked a little small and unspectacular but when you have the safety of a rope and can investigate them more closely they have a whole other side to them. This one had a very nice first pitch. It is safe to assume not too many people take in this waterfall from this vantage point.
Looking down on the final drop:
We had thrown all the rope down and there was still 80' piled at the top of the final drop and when I threw it over the edge I could see it hit the ground so down I went.
Edmund making the final drop with 20' of rope to spare:
From there it was back up the same scramble to do the first waterfall we had scouted. Edmund's wife Rebecca was along for the hike but not the rappels so I gave her my camera to shoot from the bottom.
I'm in there someplace:
On my way down it started raining. It took me awhile to realize it due to the spray from the waterfall. Edmund didn't even notice.
I threw the rope the rest of the way down and could tell from the way the rope caught and hung taught that it hadn't reached the bottom.
With no more rope left to work with we had to set a new anchor so we could finish the drop. It took a few minutes of fiddling but then I was down with Edmund following right behind.
After the second waterfall we were headed on back down the trail to a third waterfall we had scouted on the way up. This one was smaller and more grown in and didn't look nearly as good as what we had just come down. On the way up the trail I slipped and fell face first in the mud and then as I was clawing my way back up onto my feet saw that Edmund had stirred up a hornets nest right in front of me. It took a second to realize what was happening but once I did I announced it to the other's and down the trail we went. We wanted to run but due to the steep angle of the trail and the slippery mud we couldn't. I got hit multiple times as did Edmund but Rebecca, who is allergic, was spared. Needless to say we skipped the third waterfall.