Yosemite Middle Cathedral huge rockfall July 12.


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Trad climber
San Mateo, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 13, 2011 - 01:04pm PT
Did anyone else see this? The rockfall was just huge. Happened July 12 @ a 3:41 pm. Somewhere up high on the Northwest face of Middle Cathedral. A long way from where all the popular routes go. Heard an ambulance go by but I think no climber was hurt.
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Jul 13, 2011 - 01:12pm PT
Thanks. I wonder if Greg Stock, the park geologist, knows about the rockfall, or has other observations? He's usually on top of such things, so to speak.

Trad climber
Jul 13, 2011 - 01:14pm PT
My friends who were on the Trip last week, reported they saw a major rockfall on Middle Cathedral then also, and that they thought it reached the road possibly. So its two weeks in a row major rockfall in the same place.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 13, 2011 - 01:51pm PT
Wow, Middle Catherdral is one of the top 4-5 rockfall champions in the park.

There's a lot of fine routes in the path of that rockfall. Most are run-out. If there weren't so run-out, people would have been on them on a hot summer day in mid-july cause it's a shady face for much of the day.

So the routes being dangerous may have saved people's lives on July 12th!



Gym climber
Jul 13, 2011 - 02:02pm PT
Climbing Stoner's once, I was belaying pitch 7 or 8 and looked over right to see a most frightful sight about 60' away: Huge refrigerator plus-sized blocks piled high, happily hanging out and waiting for a release of their latent energy. The place is a bowling alley, but one that has some of the best multi-pitch cragging around.

Jul 13, 2011 - 02:14pm PT
It must have gone right over the N. Face route, no? That one's not runout.

Jul 13, 2011 - 02:16pm PT
Chopped some peoples fixed rope over there too ....

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Jul 13, 2011 - 03:01pm PT
At first I thought it went over North Butt of Middle, but it looks to the climber's right and wind blew the dust toward top of North Butt.

Scary stuff! I guess this is the melt-out time for the cold always shadowed face. There was a lot of snow/ice plastered up there earlier in the winter.

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jul 13, 2011 - 03:11pm PT
When water gets between spaces, then freezes and thaws,it loosens the connections between various slabs. I wonder if heavy winters like this last one correlate with more rockfall?

Mountain climber
Jul 13, 2011 - 04:08pm PT
yes, it would, the snow and ice remained an extra month into the warmer weather.

Jul 14, 2011 - 03:41pm PT

As Werner said, my fixed ropes for a new route I WAS working on were completely chopped. I've been up there nearly 20 days this spring, and thankfully i've needed a break from it in the last two weeks.

Boulder climber
Jul 14, 2011 - 04:06pm PT
Is your route still intact? How far out from completing it were you?

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Jul 14, 2011 - 04:19pm PT
Mike, I sympathize about your rope, but maybe Karma pulled you away for a rest day! Lucky you. A rope is a relatively small price to pay for not being there at the time.

What I find striking about your pic is the quality of the granite around it in the pic. I love granite crystals....so much friction in that pic.

I need to get out more this year...on granite.

Jul 14, 2011 - 05:20pm PT
I think the route is still intact. When I was up there a week ago, in between the rock fall events there was no damage done to my route at all. Just a couple tiny impact marks. The majority of the rockfall occurred on the right side of the north face apron. My route was a couple hundred feet right.

Sure hope this last rockfall was also out left a bit.

I only had another 4 or so more pitches (for a total of around 18 pitches) to go to the top of wall...

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Jul 14, 2011 - 05:25pm PT
Bluey, I look at that granite texture and imagine my baggy mythos sliding on it as my hands desperately grope for an edge I can't find! Maybe a fingernail will catch on something to hold me enough if the feet don't blow out?

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
Jul 15, 2011 - 10:52am PT
Lucky boy Mikey!!! Don't go back until the fall.
regards Tom

Social climber
El Portal Ca.
Jul 15, 2011 - 11:52am PT
Holy Cow! Glad no one was hurt.

Send that thing Mikey, and watch your back!

Scary shot of the rope.

Big Wall climber
Jul 20, 2011 - 02:37pm PT

Mikey, Kait and I were thinking about you both times the rockfall occurred. Glad you werent at the base or on your route when it went down.

BTW, we didnt use any of the gift you gave us and handed it off to Lucho, hes going to offer it back if you need it. Youre a STUD!!!

Oh, we got both rock falls on video and will post them up when I get a chance.


Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
Jul 20, 2011 - 03:01pm PT

I was there in 2004 when a huge chunk dislodged and fell down around the CP of Frenzy. Around 10am on a Saturday morning. Massive rockfall yet for good luck there were no other parties at the base (a miricle considering the timing). The only living thing there was a dog that belonged to a party on the first or second pitch. The rockfall cut his leash and the dog was found later in Camp 4 scared and disoriented.

Social climber
Berkeley, CA
Jul 20, 2011 - 03:05pm PT
ECP - yes, post videos, and send to Greg Stock. Especially if you got the beginning of the RF!

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