The history of the "Death Slabs" below half dome

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Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Jan 10, 2013 - 08:37am PT
Seems like spring-early summer is the worst for rockfall. Any confirmation on this?
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Jan 10, 2013 - 08:42am PT
Left panel shows the seasonality of documented rockfalls throughout Yosemite Valley for which the timing is known (1857-2011), right panel shows the seasonality of just those rockfalls from Half Dome over that same time period.

Credit: gstock
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Jan 10, 2013 - 08:49am PT
Well OK. Thanks Greg!

Is there a possibility that there are simply less observers present during the cooler months?
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Jan 10, 2013 - 09:01am PT
Yes, that is certainly a possibility, and no doubt there are many smaller rockfalls that are either not observed or not reported. However, I do think that certain cliffs really are more seasonal than others with respect to rockfalls.

We have documented >1 cm of daily movement of exfoliation slabs due to thermal stresses (heating and cooling of the rock). An interesting correlation for Half Dome is that more rockfalls occur from the NW face during the months that it gets more direct sun.

27 July 2006 rockfall from the NW face of Half Dome.
27 July 2006 rockfall from the NW face of Half Dome.
Credit: Amanda Nolan
life is a bivouac

Trad climber
Jan 10, 2013 - 12:56pm PT
There is a very large flake, that one climbs on/past, roughly half way up Tis-sa-ack... (it is about 25 feet high and maybe 10 feet wide) You get to stand on the crusty broken-toothed top edge to place a wee pin up under a thin flake, and I swear it vibrated with the wind... I don't remember breathing very much...

Does any one know if it's still there?

It is/was a serious candidate for terminal velosity.
T H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Mar 23, 2013 - 05:51pm PT
In September 2005 we watched the recovery of a solo climber who died while off route
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=99823&msg=99823#msg99823
Captain...or Skully

climber
Mar 23, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
One of my favorite areas in the Valley. Yes, it's third class, as long as you're not toting stuff.
If you get off route, you could die.

I don't recall that we ever called it The Death Slabs.....Reverse Sandbag, maybe?
Cloudraker

Sport climber
San Diego, CA
Mar 23, 2013 - 08:52pm PT
IKONOS 1m satellite image


Credit: Cloudraker
S.Leeper

Social climber
somewhere that doesnt have anything over 90'
Apr 26, 2013 - 04:04pm PT
bump for some interesting history
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