Half Dome Rockfall?


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Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jul 7, 2015 - 03:41pm PT
Rock Hard

Social climber
Fairfield, CA
Jul 7, 2015 - 03:58pm PT
The LA Times had this article on the rock fall this PM


Social climber
Jul 7, 2015 - 04:21pm PT
hey there say, hardrock... thanks for the link, will go see it...

Big Mike

Trad climber
Jul 7, 2015 - 04:24pm PT
This thread is linked in the story.. Lol

Social climber
Jul 7, 2015 - 04:39pm PT
hey there say, steve grossman...

as to this quote:
Jul 6, 2015 - 10:38pm PT
When I first did the RNWF in the 70s, I stopped a pitch below Big Sandy and was looking around for the usual fixed pin anchors. I finally found them and they were hidden behind a flake that had moved diagonally such that you could no longer pound on the pitons as they were originally placed. I leaned out and followed a 30 degree rising fracture line as far as I could see in the outside plate that forms Big Sandy so it is moving too!

this was very interesting... thanks for sharing...

also, gstock... thanks for all the info, as well...

and everyone... have not had a chance to read it all, but even though i am not a climber, i really appreciate learning and seeing what is going on, with the rock...

like to see a few more before and after, shots, too, :)

SAY, steve A and john, as to this quote:

Me, too, Steve. Galen Rowell told me in 1971 (before my first journey there) that he thought it was one of the most active faces in the Park.


thanks for sharing...
hmmm, also--it seems to give the feelings, of, the slow shifting rock, unseen by our eyes... gravity calling to whatever is up, perched on framework, etc, until too much happens, too hard and fast...
a tad here, a tad there... frameworks hold stuff very well, but when the framework shifts, oh my... :O


Social climber
Jul 7, 2015 - 04:41pm PT
hey there say, big mike... wow, oh my, yep... supertopo is getting 'out and about' as to the 'ye ol' news-articles' ...


edit: or actually, supertopo is getting PULLED OUT AND ABOUT into them... as news folks suddenly now seem to know where to find needed info, which they have lacked...

super news, from a super-site, ;)


Social climber
Jul 7, 2015 - 04:50pm PT
hey there say, PellucidWombat, wow, say,
THANKS for the neat drawing and the 'popped off pic' etc, of the idea of the rock fall...

very interesting...

say, also, i have seen more of the before and after shots now...

say, if someone can put a few more, NEXT to each other, as before and after, that would help me a bit, too, being that i never climbed the route, etc, so i'd get a better eye-view, this way...

just saw jsb's post, of pics... can understand a lot better now, :)
from the distance, etc zooming in... :)

hope so, but if not, i can still go back and study...
always wished i could have studied geology, etc, more, :))
back in the OLD old days, before i got married, etc... :)
Kironn Kid

Trad climber
Jul 7, 2015 - 04:57pm PT
I bivied on that ledge. It was of a decent size. Rat infested too :-/

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 7, 2015 - 05:57pm PT
We used to call it Half Rubble because it (The Dome) was such a big junker. But what a location!


Gym climber
Being In Sierra Happy Of Place
Jul 7, 2015 - 06:31pm PT

I DID see that flake - hanging with a base crew, as flakes are wont to do.

Things go south so fast...


between the flat part and the blue wobbly thing
Jul 7, 2015 - 07:53pm PT
Thanks Obama.

Trad climber
Betwixt and Between Nederland & Boulder, CO
Jul 7, 2015 - 08:48pm PT
I slept on that ledge in 1983.

On Long Ledge.

I led the Robbins Traverse below that, and at the start of that pitch there was a 15' tall flake that I began climbing only to have it tip out and almost peel. I pushed it back towards the wall and jumped off to get out of the way. Once it settled I had to tiptoe up it again to reach the bolt ladder. I heard it fell off a couple winters after.

Meyers said the squeeze/chimney pitch off of Long Ledge was "5.9, poor pro", so I did the A1 variation instead.

Nigel took the next classic lead.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 7, 2015 - 10:24pm PT

From his description of the area in question, this sounds like the late-departed flake's first clean ascent. I could be wrong.

"Now, well into our second day, it was Doug’s turn to lead. From my ledge in the middle of Robbins Traverse I watched him struggle. He tired vainly to place a nut ten feet above me in a narrow crack with flaring sides. Was this as far as we could go?

"Doug’s right leg began to shake like and old-fashioned sewing machine. He came down and rested. This section is usually climbed by pounding in pitons and using direct aid....

"Doug could find no nut that the flaring crack would accept, so he tried a different way. As Dennis fed out rope, he traversed downward to a crack only a few inches wide.

"Our spirits lifted as we watched Doug “free climb”.....Soon he reached a perfect slot where at last he placed a nut that not even the weight of a car could have budged.

"This nut gave Doug the confidence to continue free climbing. Soon he had his hands on a ledge a hundred feel long and half as wide as a city sidewalk. The difficulties of the Robbins Traverse were behind us."
--Rowell’s article, an excerpt, p. 786.
National Geographic, June 1974.

A month after this was published in NG (the three--Rowell, Hennek, and Robinson—-had climbed it in 1973, pretty obviously), Jerry Coe and I went up and still found pitons useful, though we tried to honor the clean concept: the 5.9 as hard as it ever was, I guess, since neither of us could free climb it; and we scooted on through to Big Sandy with no thoughts of objective hazards or compromised ethics--we'd done our level best.

Wake me up when Thank God Ledge is gone. That will be of immense interest to me because we bivouacked there the next night!

Trad climber
Oaksterdam, CA
Jul 7, 2015 - 10:54pm PT
The previous pic shows such huge trail of fallen rock debris- right under the start of the route, nice illustration summary of this thread
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jul 8, 2015 - 12:06am PT
Makes me wonder what the dome looked like before the NE Buttress started being quarried by glacial ice forcing its way round to the Tenaya Canyon glacier. Quite an impact zone for monster rivers of ice!

It seems obvious that this side/corner of the monolith got the brunt of the pressure from that confluence.

Gym climber
Jul 8, 2015 - 12:28am PT
A couple of weeks ago, Brother A told me he'd just gone up do the route, but they bailed at the base because of some rock fall. This was before the system came down, I believe.

Hey Hoipaloi, what's the story?

A great pic of the chimney system [shamefully] stolen from


Boulder climber
Walnut Creek, CA
Jul 8, 2015 - 09:04am PT
Wow... I was camping on the JMT between the Clouds Rest and Half Dome trailheads on July 4th and 5th.

Based on reading the comments here, it sounds like the collapse happened between July 4th and July 5th.

If that's true, I might have heard the collapse from where I was camped.

I remember hearing a loud thundering crash when I was relaxing after a long days hike. Wouldn't have seen anything from where I was, but definitely remember hearing something loud and looking around.

I'll probably never be able to be sure it was this collapse I heard, but the timing sounds right.


Gym climber
Jul 8, 2015 - 09:27am PT
So Honnold's free solo line will never be repeated....

Certainly an interesting thought. Also, the Triple Crown (and other such link-ups) just became more demanding.

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
Jul 8, 2015 - 11:27am PT
An update has been posted on the Yosemite Climbing Information page. We are working on a more detailed post with photos and details from our climb up to pitch 9 (the bolt ladder) yesterday.


Yosemite Climbing Management

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jul 8, 2015 - 11:47am PT
THanks for the update. I particularly love the understatement the permeates it. The missing pitches were mentioned on the front page of today's Fresno Bee. This provides more evidence - if I needed it - of how deeply into the mainstream climbing now penetrates.

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