Tuesday, October 4, 2016

WAIHILAU FALLS

Waimanu Falls consists of three impossibly tall and slender threads of white water veiling down a tremendous cliff covered in lush green vegetation. The wall of the amphitheater is approximately 2600' (792m) tall according to the USGS topographical maps of the area.

HISTORY AND NAMES
Waihilau Falls is the Unofficial name of this waterfall

OUR THOUGHTS
If access weren't so difficult, this could be a world famous valley. Mercifully, the difficulty in accessing the place is also responsible for its pristine condition. The average day hiker simply won't get here. The dedicated trampers that DO make it are the sort of people who have a reverence for nature in the first place.

This valley is one of the amphitheaters that formed on the flanks of the extinct Kohala Volcano. Myriad rivulets and streams gather on the flanks of the old volcano and merge, streaming over the enormous valley walls.

Happily, if you DO make it to the valley, you've reached a pristine and remote valley that has 4 very tall waterfalls. Waimanu Falls is located at the headwall of the amphitheater on the west side of the valley. On the way, you'll pass Wai'ilikahi Falls, Kakaauki Falls, and Lahomene Falls, each well over a thousand feet in height.

LOCATION AND DIRECTIONS
Access is difficult as you have to first make the trip to the Waipio Valley. You will then climb 1200' (366m) up the Muliwai trail on the opposite side of the valley, traverse a series of ridges and valleys, then descend into Waimanu Valley. It is a hard 9 mile one way hike. The alternative is to kayak from Waipio Valley west to Waimanu Valley, but winds are fickle along the north shore of the Big Island. Also, if you DO make it to the valley, you'll need a filtration system for drinking water as leptospirosis is possibly present in the water. You'll also need a camping permit. They're free, but you should make reservations. Call the Hawaii State Division of Forestry and Wildlife at 808-974-4221.

AUGRABIES FALLS

The Augrabies Falls /ɔːˈxrɑːbiːz/ is a waterfall on the Orange River, South Africa, within the Augrabies Falls National Park. The falls are around 60 metres (200 ft) in height. The original Khoikhoi residents named the waterfall "Ankoerebis" — "place of big noises" — from which the Trek Boers, who settled here later on, derived the name, "Augrabies".

The falls have recorded 7,800 cubic metres (280,000 cu ft) of water every second in floods in 1988 (and 6,800 cubic metres (240,000 cu ft) in the floods of 2006). This is over three times the average high season flow rate of Niagara Falls of 2,400 cubic metres (85,000 cu ft) per second, more than four times Niagara's annual average, and greater than Niagara's all-time record of 6,800 cubic metres (240,000 cu ft) per second.

The gorge at the Augrabies Falls is 240 metres (800 ft) deep and 18 kilometres (10 mi) long, and is an impressive example of granite erosion.

GUAIRA FALLS

Guairá Falls (Spanish: Saltos del Guairá, Portuguese: Salto das Sete Quedas do Guaíra) were a series of immense waterfalls on the Paraná River along the border between Brazil and Paraguay. The falls no longer exist, inundated in 1982 by the impoundment of the Itaipu Dam reservoir. While published figures vary, ranging from 13,000 m3 (470,000 cu ft) per second to 50,000 m3 (1,750,000 cu ft) per second, Guaíra's flow rate was among the greatest of any then-existing falls on Earth.

The falls comprised 18 cataracts clustered in seven groups—hence their Portuguese name, Sete Quedas (Seven Falls)—near the Brazilian municipality of Guaíra, Paraná and Salto de Guairá, the easternmost city in Paraguay. The falls were located at a point where the Paraná River was forced through a narrow gorge. At the head of the falls, the river narrowed sharply from a width of about 380 m (1,250 ft) to 60 m (200 ft). The total height of the falls was approximately 114 m (375 ft), while the largest individual cataract was 40 m (130 ft) high. The roar of the plunging water could be heard from 30 km (20 mi) away.

Submergence
A tourist attraction and a favorite of locals, the falls were completely submerged under the artificial lake created by the Itaipu Dam, linchpin of the world's largest hydroelectric project to date upon its completion in 1982. The building of the dam, authorized by a 1973 bilateral agreement between the Brazilian and Paraguayan regimes of the time, marked a new era of cooperation between the countries, both of which had claimed ownership of Guaíra Falls as its own.

As construction of the Itaipu Dam progressed, thousands of visitors flocked to the area to see the falls before they disappeared forever. Disaster struck on January 17, 1982, when a suspended footbridge affording access to a particularly spectacular view of the falls collapsed, killing dozens of tourists.

Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade wrote a poem expressing his dismay at the destruction of Guaíra Falls. Set in large type, the poem filled an entire page in the Jornal do Brasil newspaper:

Here seven visions, seven liquid sculptures
vanished through the computerized calculations
of a country ceasing to be human
in order to become a chilly corporation, nothing more.
A movement becomes a dam.
—Carlos Drummond de Andrade, "Farewell to Seven Falls" (excerpt, translated from the Portuguese)

Earlier, as the waters began to rise, a demonstration took place, as hundreds of people gathered to participate in a guarup, an indigenous ritual in memory of the falls. The inundation took only 14 days, occurring during the rainy season when the level of the Paraná River was high. By October 27, 1982, the reservoir was fully formed and the falls had vanished. The Brazilian government later dynamited the submerged rock face of the falls, to promote safer navigation on the river.

The director of the company that built the dam was quoted as saying, "We're not destroying Seven Falls. We're just going to transfer it to Itaipu Dam, whose spillway will be a substitute for [the falls'] beauty".

VORRINGFOSSEN

Vøringfossen is the 83rd highest waterfall in Norway on the basis of total fall. It lies at the top of Måbødalen in the municipality of Eidfjord, in Hordaland, not far from Highway 7, which connects Oslo with Bergen. It has a total drop of 182 meters, and a major drop of 163 meters. It is perhaps the most famous in the country and a major tourist attraction on the way down from Hardangervidda to Hardangerfjord.

The name Vøringfossen (Old Norse Vyrðingr) is derived from the verb vyrða (English: esteem, revere). The last element fossen, the finite form of foss (waterfall), is a later addition.

History

The waterfall was hardly known by anyone other than locals until 1821. In that year professor Christopher Hansteen, who was on his way to Hardangervidda to make astronomical observations, estimated the height of the waterfall to be about 280 meters by throwing stones down from the edge and measuring the time they took to fall with his pocket watch. In 1893 it was measured with a string, and the real height was revealed to be 163 meters.

In 1880 Ola Garen decided to build a hotel at top of the waterfall. The only way up there was a path with 1,500 stairs up Måbøbjerget together with a bridle path that had been built in 1872 to carry English tourists to the waterfall. In 1891 a new road with tunnels was built along Eidfjordvandet, and in the same year the Fossli Hotel was finished, designed in Art Nouveau style by architect Frederik Konow Lund. All materials for the construction had to be carried on horseback from Eidfjord up to the top of the hill. About 1900 large cruise ships began to visit Eidfjord, and from there passengers were transported by horse and wagon up the valley.

Hydroelectric

Bjoreia, the small river that flows into Vøringfossen has a hydroelectric dam in the Sysendalen valley above the falls. The water volume in the river is regulated in connection with power development, but there are requirements for minimum water flow of 12 m³/s above its natural rate in the summer, not enough to benefit the tourist trade.

Personal safety

There are several warning signs in regard to the dangers of falling to one's death. Other measures for preventing deaths, are planned for implementation in the spring of 2015.

GODAFOSS

The Goðafoss (Icelandic: waterfall of the gods or waterfall of the goði) is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. It is located in the Bárðardalur district of North-Central Iceland at the beginning of the Sprengisandur highland road. The water of the river Skjálfandafljót falls from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters.

In the year 999 or 1000 the Lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. After his conversion it is said that upon returning from the Alþingi, Þorgeir threw his statues of the Norse gods into the waterfall. Þorgeir's story is preserved in Ari Þorgilsson's Íslendingabók.

A window in the Cathedral of Akureyri (Akureyrarkirkja) illustrates this story.

MS Goðafoss, an Icelandic ship named after the waterfall, was carrying both freight and passengers. It was sunk by a German U-Boat in World War II, resulting in great loss of lives.