Huge Landslide near Columbia Gorge
A huge landslide near Greenleaf Peak north of Beacon Rock State Park sent about 30 acres plummeting half a mile and 1,000 feet. Photo by Don Nelsen.
Sometimes huge catastrophic events happen in the mountains, and no one's around to witness them.
Such an event happened sometime this winter on Greenleaf Peak about three miles north of the Columbia Gorge, near Beacon Rock State Park. Apparently, an enormous chunk of the mountain--about 30 acres in size--went careening about a half mile down the valley, dropping some 1,000 feet. It took everything with it, including firs up to 6 feet in diameter.
According to an article in the Vancouver Columbian, hiker Don Nelsen investigated the slide, which is off trail within the Table Mountain Natural Resource Conservation area, managed by Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Nelson shot some photos and told the Columbian, "It's so big, it really gives one pause as to what could happen. It could potentially cut loose a big enough slide to do serious damage."