On October 26th, a hole was blasted in the base of 125' tall Condit Dam on the White Salmon River in Washington. In less than 2 hours, the reservoir behind the dam drained completely and the White Salmon flowed unimpeded by a dam for the first time in 100 years.
This short clip is a combination of video and timelapse photography captured throughout the day. The technical stuff:
Video was shot with a Sony FS100, a Sony EX1 recording to a KiPro HDD recorder, and a Canon 5D.
The timelapse photography was done with 2 Canon Rebel T2is and a Canon 7D. Additional cameras used include GoPro Hero 2s, GoPro HD Heros and a Canon 1D Mark 4.
This video first appeared on the National Geographic News site here: http://bit.ly/uCeO9d
and is a part of my larger effort to document the restoration of the White Salmon River: http://bit.ly/ro6Pjh
Big thanks to my partner in this project, Steve Stampfli, for all of his ideas and effort.
2011 was an historic year for rivers. The two dam removal projects that began as “crazy ideas” 30 years ago kicked off this year on the Elwha and White Salmon Rivers in Washington. These dam removal projects are the largest in history and represent a turning point in the effort to restore freeflowing rivers for salmon, recreation and culture. The climactic moment of the year was the explosive breach of 125 foot tall Condit Dam on the White Salmon, captured using video and timelapse photography techniques.
The third video in our Year of the River series, this film gives background on the historic Elwha River conservation success, and introduces us to two advocates, Rick Rutz and Shawn Cantrell, who helped make it happen. And special thanks to our oarsman Bruce McGlenn for getting us down the river.
The restoration of Washington's White Salmon River begins on October 26, when a hole will be blasted at the base of Condit Dam. Removing the outdated 125-foot tall dam will restore the health of the river and habitat for salmon and steelhead. It will also create new recreation opportunities on this river that is already a premier whitewater destination. The conservation community, including Friends of the White Salmon, the Yakama Nation, American Rivers, American Whitewater, and others have worked for more than 20 years to restore the river.
American Rivers dubbed 2011 “The Year of the River” because our country will soon reach the significant milestone of 1000 dams removed nationwide. This is the second video in the Year of the River series - the first video explored the current Elwha River dam removal project.