At approximately 3:11 PM on Wednesday (11/17) I heard loud cracking and popping noises, followed shortly by loud “thud” noises (blocks bouncing off of a ledge). From just west of the Footstool, I looked across to see several planar blocks (refrigerator doors on steroids…) falling through space, and then heard the sound of the impact on the lower slab. There was a small dust cloud, but this event was nowhere near as large as the 10/11 event. There were no precursor noises from the rock scar area in the moments leading up to the rockfall. It was pretty cool to see the blocks in mid-flight. Nick was filming in the Footstool talus, just east of the Footstool and the guys on the wall must have had a nice view.
Here are a couple of photos for comparison:
(click on images for full versions)
My son was on the nose route on El Cap that day. He survived that rockfall and a few other close calls in Yosemite, but sadly passed away this week in a plane crash working for PGE in Chico - doing a job he loved. He was 26 and inspired me to climb the Snake Dike Route on Half Dome at age 59, one of the highlights of my life. Here's a picture he took - a self portrait with the rockfall in the background.
I *sure* wish I had seen this post before I attempted to solo the Waterfall Route this spring! For your information, the current state of affairs is exactly as Klaus has described above, and the Waterfall Route is unclimbable.
I was completely lost up there, and had no idea why I couldn't find the route. Answer: the route is now lying at the base of the wall. Sheesh.
I am also wondering if more rockfall has occurred in this area since the first fall? By my observation, the fifth belay of Waterfall Route has been obliterated. It used to be on the ledge straight left of the fifth belay on Klaus' route Get Whacked.