5 Favorite Waterfalls of the New River Gorge

first_imgWorn, ragged, a bit bruised, I had just struggled for two hours to cover a mere half-mile. I was accustomed to hiking off-trail along the base of the cliffs that rim the New River Gorge, but this stretch of cliff-line was more than I bargained for.I hugged the cliffs that towered above us, and with each step, the roar of water grew louder. Finally I was face-to-face with a stream of water taking a 70-foot leap off the top ledge of the New River Gorge. For pure drama, it was hard to beat. What’s more, this waterfall, rivaling the height of any waterfall in West Virginia and, to be sure, the tallest in the New River Gorge, was not on any trail map.This experience confirmed what I have learned over the last 26 years of living in southern West Virginia: when exploring the New River Gorge, both adventure and discovery come standard with every foray off the beaten path. These out-of-the-way waterfalls of the New River Gorge are hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered and admired. Here are five of my favorites, all concentrated within a one-mile radius of the National Park Service (NPS) Trailhead at Kaymoor Top near Fayetteville, and just a mile southeast of the world famous New River Gorge Bridge.Water wonderland: Butcher Branch Falls is one of many waterfalls nestled in the New River Gorge.Water wonderland: Butcher Branch Falls is one of many waterfalls nestled in the New River Gorge.Craig Branch Falls The tallest in the New River Gorge, Craig Branch can be reached from Kaymoor Miners Trail. As you turn to head directly downhill on some rock steps, you’ll parallel a small stream. On this stretch of the trail look for a faintly worn but distinguishable path to the right that crosses the little creek and heads toward the nearby cliffs. As you venture on this course, you truly step off the beaten path and commit yourself to the rugged realm of rock climbers. Forged by climbers who come to scale the awesome sandstone cliffs of the New River Gorge, there are many such unmarked paths running along the base of the cliffs. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a rock climber to hike them, but these cliff-hugging trails do demand that you watch your step and keep your wits.When picking your way through these difficult stretches, the chief rule of thumb is “hug the cliffs.” Even if staying close to the cliff means more ups and downs, resist the temptation to strike out on the level across boulder fields. Despite some hazards, you need not fear getting lost. The cliffs are unmistakable landmarks pointing the way both forward and back.Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with dazzling displays of the Endless Wall, a massive, vertical overhanging cliff of sandstone more than 120 feet high that rims the gorge for many miles upstream and down. After a few more rocky traverses, you’ll find yourself perched overlooking Upper Craig Branch Falls. Regardless of the difficulty of the journey, seeing the waterfall will lift your spirits.Upper Falls of Butcher Branch Opposite the Craig Branch Trail at the far end of the Kaymoor Top parking lot lies another pathway to discovery–the NPS Butcher Branch Trail. Though you don’t have to bushwhack to it, I consider the lovely Upper Falls of Butcher Branch to be off the beaten path because it receives little or no mention in tourist guides, maps in print or on the web, or in NPS literature.Here’s how to find it. From the Kaymoor Top Trailhead, take the Butcher Branch Trail. The trail runs along the top of the cliffs for a bit before gradually descending into a notch in the cliffs cut by Butcher Branch. After a switchback or two, the trail forks. The Butcher Branch Trail continues on the left fork and in a quarter mile connects to the NPS Long Point Trail. The right fork is labeled “Climber Access.” Unlike the way to Craig Branch, this is a trail. It leads to rock climbing areas beyond Butcher Branch. After several switchbacks that descend the cliff and a brief walk through the woods, the trail crosses Butcher Branch. Above the crossing, Butcher Branch rolls down a steep, irregular, rock face in a series of picturesque cascades and drops that are well worth a photograph or two. Linger as long as you please, for it’s only a half-mile hike back to the parking lot.The Middle Falls of Fern Creek The next two waterfalls, the Upper and Middle Falls of Fern Creek, lie on the opposite side of the gorge. From the Kaymoor Trailhead, return to Fayetteville, cross the New River Gorge Bridge on U.S. 19, and stop at the NPS Canyon Rim Visitor Center. When the leaves are off and the water is high, such as in springtime, the Middle Falls of Fern Creek can be spotted by those traveling north across the New River Bridge. It’s on the right-hand side about halfway down the canyon. The waterfall seems to leap out of the gorge. It’s quite a sight; one I’m sure thousands of travelers have viewed from afar. Yet, I’d wager that in a year’s time only a couple dozen ever see the falls up close.Here’s how to become one of those few. From the Visitor Center, turn right out of the parking lot and drive two-tenths of a mile. Make a very sharp right-hand turn, and proceed downhill one-tenth of a mile to a junction with the Fayette Station Road. Turn left and go three-tenths of a mile to a pull-out on the right-hand shoulder of the road. This is the trailhead parking.One path takes off from the shoulder of the road and heads straight downhill. But for an easier descent, take an old road that starts a few yards to the left. This is also a climber’s access trail, but it’s much easier to follow than the one to Craig Branch. You’ll cross a little stone bridge and pass a small, seasonal waterfall. Follow the path to the base of some sandstone cliffs, which are also a part of the Endless Wall. The trail is neither marked nor maintained, but it’s kept clear primarily by usage. Just remember to hug the cliffs whenever possible. The sandstone of the cliff face has been etched and sculptured by the slow-but-sure hand of Nature and are exquisitely stained in multiple tones of brown and red by the gentle brush strokes of weathering.After hugging the cliffs for about 0.8 miles, you can depart from the trail to do some serious bushwhacking to the Middle Falls of Fern Creek. If you’re hiking in early spring when trees are bare, you should be able to spot the waterfall for the first time. It’ll be downhill and to the left. At this point, I’ve scratched two arrows on a boulder on the ground pointing downhill. The hunt begins here. The slope drops about 400 vertical feet in a 500-foot horizontal run. That’s a little less than a 45-degree angle, which is, needless to say, steep. So be forewarned. Fortunately, there are no cliffs to scale or rhododendron thickets to negotiate. But the way is still tough.When you reach the falls, you’ll know why they can be seen from the New River Bridge. At the top of the falls, Fern Creek hits a stony ramp that launches it into the air and sends it streaming down to the boulders below. It’s rugged, raw, and breathtaking.High Drama at Upper Fern Creek Falls When you return to the trail at the foot of the cliffs, it’s only another 0.2 miles to the Upper Falls of Fern Creek. Just turn right and continue on the trail at the base of the cliffs. The waterfall announces itself with a roar that echoes off the rock walls as you approach it. My jaw dropped the first time I saw this waterfall. It sits center-stage in a stone amphitheater enclosed on three sides. It’s high drama for sure. Most of the time the falls are confined to a vertical cleft cut in the cliffs. But at high water, the falls make a spectacular plunge off the cliff top and into a pool in the middle of the amphitheater. It’s clearly one of the best sights in the New River Gorge. The backtrack to the trailhead is about a mile. You might be a bit foot-weary, but if you’ve caught the thrill of discovery in the New River Gorge, you’ll be pondering your next waterfall hunt.Lying in Wait: Wolf Creek Falls Wolf Creek is well named. It’s wild, intimidating, and untamed. It charges down the slopes of the New River Gorge like a wild animal. Not surprisingly, Wolf Creek Falls are rough and rugged. Fortunately, you don’t have to hike far to find them because they’re just off a paved road. But as if lying in wait, they are quite hidden from the road, and undoubtedly thousands of visitors to the gorge drive right past them unaware of the awesome waterfall just a few feet away.Starting from the trailhead to Fern Creek Falls, reverse direction and drive downhill. At about three-tenths of a mile, bear left at a junction. This puts you on Fayette Station Road, a one-way paved road that switchbacks its way down the north side of the New River Gorge and up the south side. As you ascend the south side, look for a trailhead in the middle of a very wide switchback. This is the trailhead parking for NPS Fayetteville Trail and Kaymoor Trail.Wolf Creek Falls is below the road and a little downstream from the trailhead parking. Walking downhill on the outside edge of the switchback, you’ll notice a few indistinct paths dropping down to the creek. These will lead to Wolf Creek Falls. The descent is steep, rocky, and choked with rhododendron. Wolf Creek Falls has a picturesque drop, massive boulders at the bottom, and a lovely, emerald-green plunge pool.Writer and photographer Ed Rehbein of Beckley, W.Va. is a co-author of West Virginia Waterfalls: The New River Gorge.MORE WATERFALLSlast_img read more

UK audit inquiry reignites ‘illegal dividends’ dispute

first_imgShe asked: “That is a clear admission, isn’t it, that the two regimes – the capital maintenance requirement regime and the IFRS standards – are different?” Nick AndersonIts author, Nick Anderson, a member of the International Accounting Standards Board, wrote: “it is important to remember that IFRS standards, if only because of their international nature, cannot reflect in detail specific requirements of the multitude of different capital maintenance regimes among the more than 140 jurisdictions that now require the use of our standards.”He concluded that, although it was beyond the standard setter’s remit to determine the validity of distributions, “there is no impediment to… providing additional disclosures about dividend policies and dividend payments, including any disclosures needed to meet jurisdiction requirements”. Michael Izza, chief executive, ICAEWThe BEIS committee’s inquiry also put the spotlight on the status of guidance published by the ICAEW.At last week’s hearing, Sandbach told Izza: “My concern is that your guidance doesn’t take into account the obligations as stated by the law.“What we are told in the evidence we have been given is that… parliament passes the law and the courts interpret it; it is not the ICAEW that does it.”She added that the evidence parliament had heard from accountants and lawyers was that “the IFRS standards cannot be relied on to ensure compliance with the law”.Pension funds’ long-running battle with FRCThe UK’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF), which represents a number of local government pension schemes, has been challenging the audit regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), on capital maintenance rules since 2013. Following years of back-and-forth between lawyers – representing the LAPFF and other investors on one side and the FRC and the accounting sector on the other – in November 2018 the UK parliament’s BEIS committee stepped in with an inquiry about the future of audit regulation.This was followed by the announcement of a probe into the market for audit services by the Competition and Markets Authority, while the government also appointed the former chair of the London Stock Exchange Group, Donald Brydon, to head up a separate inquiry into audit standards.LAPFF acting chair Paul Doughty told IPE: “It’s good to see how intensively the sessions are looking at the issues.“The evidence supports what George Bompas [the LAPFF’s lawyer] has said: the law is the law and the standards are inconsistent with the law. The impact of these discrepancies can’t be exaggerated.”Further readingLAPFF urges FTSE 350 firms to disregard ‘defective’ accounting advice In September 2016, the public sector pension body called for company boards to disregard advice from the FRCAccounting briefing: Just ignore the FRC Stephen Bouvier digs into documents revealed under the UK’s Freedom of Information ActIFRS Foundation steps inIn a separate development, the IFRS Foundation has published an opinion piece addressing in part the issue of capital maintenance and distributions.center_img A number of UK companies could have paid out illegal dividends for more than a decade, a parliamentary inquiry heard earlier this month.Giving oral evidence to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee on 5 February, the chief executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) said there were “inconsistencies” between international reporting standards and UK law on “capital maintenance”, which governs how companies can report distributable reserves.If confirmed, Michael Izza’s statement would mean that an unknown number of UK group entities could have paid out illegal dividends since 2005, when the EU first adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).Izza was responding to questions from Antoinette Sandbach, a Conservative party MP and member of the BEIS committee.last_img read more

German’s Restaurant fuels Capital FC

first_imgIN an act of benevolence on Wednesday afternoon, German’s Restaurant made a monetary contribution to Capital Football Club, one of the country’s new football clubs, based in Linden.A cheque valued G$100 000 was presented to the club’s skipper and national junior player, 17-year-old Andre Myers, by businessman Clinton Urling at a simple ceremony, witnessed by national beach footballer Keon Sears and goalkeeper Norbert Sansculotte.Also present were Regional Secretary Dameion Forrester and Seon Holland, brother of the club’s president and former Linden Mayor and boxing promoter, Carwyn Holland.Urling posited that football and sports in general bring communities together, forge unity, develop good health and help to reduce crime, among several other benefits.He said German’s Restaurant will continue to support any initiative that helps to develop communities.Forrester, speaking on behalf of the Region 10 club, thanked Urling and German’s Restaurant for the contribution to the newest football club in Linden. He stated that the club is also involved in community development work through several projects.The club is also on the verge of assembling a female team, Forrester reported. Currently, Capital FC has three teams, namely Under-17, Under-20 and a senior group, who will compete in the Super Cup starting Sunday.last_img read more

Despite criticism, LeBron James holds his ground on neutral China stance

first_img“I’d be cheating my teammates by continuing to harp on something that won’t benefit us,” he said. “We’re trying to win a championship. That’s what we’re here for. We’re not politicians. It’s a huge political thing. But we are leaders and we can step up at times. There’s times where – I’m not saying in this particular instance – but if you don’t feel like you should speak upon things, you shouldn’t have to.”James said he wasn’t sure how differently the trip would have gone if Morey had waited to send his tweet until after the Lakers’ trip to China. But describing the visit as “tough,” he added: “It was a challenging trip for all of us that were in China. If you were not there, then you just can’t relate.”James’ voice is an integral part of his brand, not the least of which is his media company Uninterrupted. He produces and is the star of an HBO show, “The Shop”, with the guiding principle of giving athletes a platform to speak – a recent episode featured California governor Gavin Newsom signing a state law striking down a key tenet of NCAA amateurism, which is one of James’ most prominent causes.Lakers coach Frank Vogel said he believes James can handle himself talking about various off-court topics – or otherwise choosing not to sound off.“I stand back,” Vogel said. “He’s been remarkable with that throughout his career, speaking up at the right times if it’s necessary and not doing so if it’s not.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersOn Monday evening, James felt it necessary to clarify his comments after calling Morey’s tweet in support of Hong Kong protesters “misinformed,” saying that he was more frustrated with the timing of the tweet than the political stance.Critics still slammed him – most notably, Hong Kong protesters, who have been feuding with the Chinese government for months about a law that would allow for extradition to the mainland. On Tuesday, protestors there burned James’ jersey while accusing him of protecting his financial interests overseas.James said at Tuesday’s practice that he hadn’t seen the reaction in Hong Kong. He still feels that his words were taken out of context.“That tends to happen with me,” he said. “I understand that. And I know that every word that I say is going to be broken down on however you feel or you see (how) I said it. So it comes with the territory and that’s OK with me.”James pivoted the subject matter at times, saying he felt that not enough political dialogue has been devoted to his other causes such as his I Promise School. He also said he planned not to talk about the political issues of China or Morey’s tweet any longer, saying it would be a distraction for the other Lakers. How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years EL SEGUNDO — In his 17th year in the NBA, LeBron James is well-versed in speaking out on controversial issues, and he’s used to the criticism he draws from his stances.And yet this week might still be a unique moment in his career: He’s drawing criticism for parsing how others use their own voices.James spoke to the media for the second time in as many days about the Lakers’ trip to China, which was defined by geopolitical tension stemming from a tweet by Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey. It was notable that James, a strong advocate for players to express themselves on a variety of hot-button social topics, said he’d rather focus on issues closer to home.“I think when an issue comes up and you feel passionate about it or it’s something you wanna talk about, then so be it,” he said. “I also don’t think that every issue should be everybody’s problem as well.” Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers DAVIS PRACTICES, HOPES TO PLAY WEDNESDAYA day removed from being listed as day-to-day with a sprained right thumb, Anthony Davis was a full participant in Tuesday’s practice. He wore a wrap on the thumb that he injured Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets, but was otherwise unrestricted.Davis said even before Monday’s MRI, he was pretty sure he was OK.Related Articles Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I have had some hairline fractures and stuff like that in my hand before, so I knew that was just a jam,” he said. “Obviously just want to be cautious, but it was a relief.”Davis is one of a few Lakers who have been on the injury report so far this preseason. Quinn Cook participated in Tuesday’s practice, and Vogel said he hoped the guard would be able to play for the first time on Wednesday. Troy Daniels did not practice and is not expected to play. Kyle Kuzma, who was just cleared for non-contact work, remains out.Davis said being at Staples Center on Monday helped whet his appetite for his Lakers home debut.“Hopefully I get a chance to experience that and play tomorrow for the first time,” he said. “I know it’s the preseason, but I know that the fans are very loyal and excited about me being here, so can’t wait to be able to suit up and play in front of them for the first time.”last_img read more

Roger Federer chasing record semifinal appearance at Wimbledon

first_imgRoger Federer and Andy Murray are closing in on another Wimbledon final.Federer, a seven-time champion from Switzerland, is 34 and still looking to make history at the All England Club by winning a record eighth title.The 29-year-old Murray already made his mark in 2013, becoming the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.The pair are on opposite sides of the draw, so if they win quarterfinals Wednesday, and then semifinals Friday, they would meet each other for the title Sunday.EIGHTH TITLE IN SIGHT”I hope I can win Wimbledon one more time,” said Federer, who beat Murray in the 2012 final. “That would be nice.”That would also be an understatement.Both Pete Sampras and 1880s player William Renshaw have won seven Wimbledon titles, but no one has eight. The only male player at any Grand Slam tournament with that many is Rafael Nadal, who has won the French Open nine times.Federer will face ninth-seeded Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals, while Murray will take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. If Federer advances, he will equal Jimmy Connors’ record of 11 Wimbledon semifinal appearances.In the other men’s quarterfinal matches, sixth-seeded Milos Raonic will face 28th-seeded Sam Querrey, and 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych will play Lucas Pouille.Querrey knocked defending champion Novak Djokovic out of the tournament in the third round.MEN’s QUARTERFINAL LINEUP:FEDERER VS. CILIC:Federer is 5-1 against Cilic, but it’s the one loss that still hurts.Cilic routed Federer in straight sets in the U.S. Open semifinals in 2014, the last time the two players met on court.advertisement”These things happen. It’s OK to get blown off the court,” Federer said. “I never fully played freely in the match. But that was to his credit for just cranking out serves and big returns.”Cilic ended up winning his first major title at that tournament in New York. He’s hoping to reach the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time.MURRAY VS. TSONGA:Tsonga has twice reached the Wimbledon semifinals, including beating Federer in the 2011 quarterfinals.Murray, however, has beaten Tsonga in 11 of their last 12 matches, including four times on grass.”I know Tsonga is one of the best grass court players in the world,” said Murray, who is 6-2 in Wimbledon quarterfinals. “If he plays well (and) I’m not on my game, I can lose that match for sure.”RAONIC VS. QUERREY:Querrey is playing the tournament of his life, reaching the quarterfinals of a major for the first time while beating top-ranked Djokovic along the way.”I think he (Querrey) must be doing great things,” said Raonic, who recovered from two sets down to reach the quarterfinals. “I’m sure he sent a message to other players, as well, that he’s ready to play.”Querrey beat Raonic at Wimbledon in 2012, when the Canadian was just 21. In 2014, Raonic advanced to the semifinals, where he lost to Federer.BERDYCH VS. POUILLE:Berdych is the only player left in the men’s draw that won’t have a rest day before the quarterfinals.The 10th-seeded Czech was forced to finish his fourth-round match against Jiri Vesely on Tuesday because play was suspended by darkness the night before.”With the recovery, I think it was actually a good day to play a set. It’s like a day of practice,” Berdych said. “I’m quite used to it actually. I’m doing it day by day, so that’s fine.”Pouille, a 22-year-old Frenchman, is playing in the second week of a major tournament for the first time. He had been 0-4 on grass heading into Wimbledon, but he’s now 4-4.”Before the tournament,” Pouille said, “(my goal) was to win one match on grass.”last_img read more