The destructive forces of Mother Nature

Anyone that has spent much time at the ELC has seen, or at least heard stories, of the waterfall.  Every Mountain School student secretly hopes to visit the waterfall and when they do everyone hears about its splendor.  Adult program participants often make the trek up in the evenings for sunset, admiring views of distant peaks while listening to the water.  Many of the graduate students visit the waterfall to journal, think and reflect.

Waterfall after the avalanche

The waterfall on January 22, 2009

But today it does not look like the waterfall that so many remember.  Earlier this season an avalanche ripped through and left a huge debris field.  To say that debris litters my favorite picnic spot is an understatement; the debris in that spot is roughly ten feet deep.  The debris is nearly twenty feet deep at the foot of the waterfall.  The water has punched a hole through the debris, creating a deep cavern.  Now I wonder, how long will it be before we see the base of the waterfall?  Will I still visit the waterfall to journal?  Will my spot be covered in debris?  Perhaps I’ll have a new favorite spot, with a perfect smooth log to serve as a backrest and another to rest my feet upon.
The destructive forces of Mother Nature are pretty phenomenal.  Witnessing this transformation of the landscape reminds me of the impermanence of all things that seem timeless and it makes me thankful to be here, witnessing the change.

Photo by Jenny Frederick


  1. Kate Bedient

    Jenny, holy cow! This is such an incredible picture! I can’t wait to come and visit and see how things have changed. Thanks for providing all of us little urbanites with photos and words from the mountains. I’m feeling their pull in a serious way right now! Keep up the good work! ~Kate

  2. Tim

    Despair not, Jenny; melt will come. And thanks for the fine report! –Tim

  3. Jeanette Waters

    I relish remembering this spot less encumbered the fill of the earth. Adam’s picture of the frozen falls was inspiring, this brings the emotions of change.

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