Massive rockfall - Waterfall route

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 438 of total 438 in this topic
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 27, 2017 - 02:19pm PT
Just got a call from Pete - he witnessed a massive rockfall from high on Waterfall route on El Cap.
They are safe (Ryan, Patrick and Pete) but think they can see bodies at the base.
Pete said it looked like a sheet of rock about 100 feet square.

Check in on any friends in that area.



Pic Ryan Sheridan posted on FB


Holy f*#king shit!
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Sep 27, 2017 - 02:25pm PT
Scary!
Hope no one is injured or worse.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Sep 27, 2017 - 02:29pm PT
Holy crap
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 27, 2017 - 02:30pm PT
Edit: Apparently someone walked out of the debris. Hopefully others are just injured.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 27, 2017 - 02:52pm PT
Glad Pete & friends are OK! Whew!
Scole

Trad climber
Zapopan
Sep 27, 2017 - 02:56pm PT
That part of el cap has seen a lot of rockfall over the years, but that is enormous. I hope the guys on the wall are are just seeing things other than bodies.
velvet!

Trad climber
La Cochitaville
Sep 27, 2017 - 03:15pm PT
Safe wishes to the involved climbers and YOSAR team members <3
kalockwood

climber
Salt Lake City
Sep 27, 2017 - 03:23pm PT

Brad Gobright posted a photo on his Instagram story. Looks huge.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Sep 27, 2017 - 03:25pm PT

Let's hope there are no bodies below this.
snakefoot

climber
Nor Cal
Sep 27, 2017 - 04:13pm PT
looks like some parts of the prophet might be gone as well. I always cringe when i see a large talus field and no glacier, comes from above every time.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Sep 27, 2017 - 04:14pm PT
whoa.

Hoping no one got seriously hurt.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 27, 2017 - 04:43pm PT
Fresno Bee has the same basic info as SFGate, CW.
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 27, 2017 - 04:45pm PT
Lots of stuff on Facebook right now.

I was supposed to climb this with Pete. Really f*#king scary sh#t right here guys.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Sep 27, 2017 - 04:54pm PT
One report from FB says, "Massive rockfall on El Cap right now. Been going on and off for an hour now. Very active!"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/yosemite-ranger-rock-fall-strikes-famous-climbing-route/2017/09/27/5f270b6e-a3dc-11e7-b573-8ec86cdfe1ed_story.html

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — Officials at Yosemite National Park in California say a chunk of rock broke off El Capitan along one of the world’s most famously scaled routes at the height of climbing season.

Ranger Scott Gediman said Wednesday that witnesses made multiple calls reporting the rock fall around 2 p.m. PDT. He estimates 30 or more climbers were on the wall at the time, but he could not confirm injuries or the size of the rock fall.

Gediman says the park’s helicopter is helping assess the damage.

The rock fall happened along the Waterfall route on El Capitan’s eastern buttress.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Sep 27, 2017 - 04:55pm PT
Wow, that looks exponentially bigger than the one on the west face.


Interested in hearing the details from gstock.


Both of these happening during otherwise prime climbing conditions is scary.
MarkEvanSmith

Social climber
Oakhurst
Sep 27, 2017 - 05:05pm PT
Hey all, my name is Mark Evan Smith and I'm a reporter with the Sierra Star (newspaper in Oakhurst, very close to Yosemite National Park). We're happy that Ryan and friends are okay but obviously this is a very scary situation. Since I'm assuming it's difficult to get in touch with him, would it be okay to use his photo with full photo credit on our website, and then possibly for publication in The Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee, and elsewhere? I will be frank and let you know we did publish it with our story, but we can remove it ASAP if that's what Ryan would prefer.

The Associated Press and several television news outlets also wish to use the photo. My phone number is (559) 683-4464 and email is msmith@sierrastar.com. Please let me know if this is okay. Thank you!
onyourleft

climber
So Oregon
Sep 27, 2017 - 05:09pm PT
NBC LA is reporting one fatality and an injury:

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/california/Rock-Slide-on-Yosemites-El-Capitan-Prompts-Search-for-Possible-Injured-Persons-448341773.html?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_LABrand
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Sep 27, 2017 - 05:16pm PT
Sad day at the Captain :(
Dave

Mountain climber
the ANTI-fresno
Sep 27, 2017 - 05:21pm PT
" I will be frank and let you know we did publish it with our story, but we can remove it ASAP if that's what Ryan would prefer."

At least you admit it.

You do realize that under copyright law and intellectual property law this is essentially theft and grounds for a lawsuit, right? Without a release of rights you just opened every paper you gave it to up to a suit.

If I were Ryan I'd be asking for compensation. More so since it was published it multiple places without authorization.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Sep 27, 2017 - 05:28pm PT
http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article175791371.html
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Sep 27, 2017 - 05:31pm PT
Official NPS statement confirming one fatality...

https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/news/rockfall-in-yosemite-national-park.htm

"Date: September 27, 2017


A rockfall of undetermined size occurred in Yosemite National Park this afternoon at about 1:55 p.m. this afternoon. The rockfall was reported to have happened from El Capitan, a granite monolith above Yosemite Valley. The release point appears to be near the "Waterfall Route", a popular climbing route on the East Buttress of El Capitan. This is the area where Horsetail Fall flows in winter and spring conditions.
 
Yosemite National Park Rangers and Yosemite Search and Rescue are currently on scene assessing the situation. The park helicopter is currently flying and also assessing the situation.
 
There is one confirmed fatality and one injured person. Park Rangers are working to transport the injured person to receive medical care.outside of the park. .
 
This is the climbing season in Yosemite National Park and there are many climbers on El Capitan and other climbing routes in the park.
 
Yosemite National Park remains open and visitor services are not affected.
 
There will be no further news releases this evening and phone calls may not be returned until tomorrow morning. . Further information will be available and a news release will be issued tomorrow morning, September 28, updating the incident.."

rest well.
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 27, 2017 - 05:48pm PT
Photos from the LA Times article...


Mike.

climber
Sep 27, 2017 - 05:48pm PT
MarkEvanSmith wrote:
Since I'm assuming it's difficult to get in touch with him, would it be okay to use his photo with full photo credit on our website, and then possibly for publication in The Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee, and elsewhere? I will be frank and let you know we did publish it with our story, but we can remove it ASAP if that's what Ryan would prefer.

I'll be frank: You stole the photo. Now you want to ask the author (or other random climbers here?) if your theft is OK. How about you take the stolen imagery down, then ask the author if he will grant you use rights? You know, NOT STEAL IT?


Best wishes to climbers at the scene.
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 27, 2017 - 05:56pm PT
Pic from Tom

elle_no

climber
Bay Area, CA
Sep 27, 2017 - 05:58pm PT
Whether or not the use of this photo as a way to keep people informed of this tragedy was authorized or not is SO NOT IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW.

Please keep things in perspective. Someone died. Let's all take a break from sniping about inconsequential BS and pay our respects to this person who lost their life - and their loved ones - by having a little more respect for each other.

Slym

climber
Merced, CA
Sep 27, 2017 - 06:00pm PT
I just can't get over Ryan, Pete, et al's luck. Gnarly night for them a couple nights ago according to deucey, then this. Scary sh#t. Real humbling.
F

climber
away from the ground
Sep 27, 2017 - 06:33pm PT
Woah, gnarly. Potential for death and destruction is exacerbated by high season traffic. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Rocks follow rains. Even if it's "perfect" stone next to the road. RIP and best wishes to those affected.
drF

Trad climber
usa
Sep 27, 2017 - 06:51pm PT
Those pics are scary.

Good thoughts for those in the zone. Yikes!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 27, 2017 - 06:54pm PT
hey there say, all... just stepping in fast, i have to leave... but, my prayers and condolences to all involved...

i have have to learn more later...

very sad to hear this...

thankful pete and folks were okay,
and, thank you to the rescue workers...


:(
Cucamonga Climber

Sport climber
Rancho Cucamonga
Sep 27, 2017 - 06:57pm PT
Sad day. Prayers for those affected and their families. Thanks YOSAR...
shipoopoi

Big Wall climber
oakland
Sep 27, 2017 - 07:12pm PT
such a sad day in yosemite. what we do is so dangerous, but to be pegged while just hiking along the base?...that's just not fair.

glad pass the poser pete and team are ok..ss
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Sep 27, 2017 - 07:31pm PT
Holy f*#k!!
Helicopter and rescuers in the bullseye.
Pete’s video above the helicopter gives me pause.
Those guys have f*#king balls!
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Sep 27, 2017 - 07:40pm PT
Just me or is that a really inappropriate photo for ABC to use for that Pete interview....Jesus he looks like he's celebrating the deadly rockfall.

Glad you guys are ok!
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Sep 27, 2017 - 07:42pm PT
Really sad news, condolences to everyone involved. Such a scary situation.
Michael Nicholson

Big Wall climber
Thousand Oaks
Sep 27, 2017 - 08:34pm PT
RIP.
Jennifer Paul

Boulder climber
Seattle
Sep 27, 2017 - 09:00pm PT
I read that one person died and one person was injured. Sad, be careful out there everyone.
E

Ice climber
mogollon rim
Sep 27, 2017 - 10:03pm PT
Pass the pitons pete's junk show is so big that it loosened the wall when they Bivied at the fracture zone.... ;)
couchmaster

climber
Sep 27, 2017 - 10:52pm PT


Thoughts and prayers to friends and family of the folks walking along the base. Crap.

Mr Natural use to be on of my fav Valley routes till those blocks took out a fella few years back. Every time I see those monsters in the talus field now I think of that poor lost soul.

Then I get the hell out of there. As rollover notes re: helicopter flying in the vacintity - that took stones. Shakes head. My best to all.
just_hendo

Trad climber
Great Falls, MY
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:11am PT
Was on East Buttress at the time, watched a thin but masssive piece falling and got blasted by debris. Fairly certain my partner and I were the last to see them before it happened.. a couple here from Wales, they rapped off the top of the third pitch where we passed them as they were debating that decision. They were descending when the rock fall occurred. Heart goes out to her and their friends and family
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:16am PT
hey there say, dear just_hendo... my hugs and comfort to you, as you had been through seeing all this...

my love and condolences and prayers, for the family and all involved...


though we have the joy of friends, saved, the equal height, of
emotion, goes to the sadness for the loss of even one life, that
we did not personally...
and to the injured and the pains suffered through they have
seen and went through, and to you too...


all one can say, is-- in your corner, forever, for a 'backup' of
inner strength, to and to those that suffered, :(
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Sep 28, 2017 - 01:09am PT
I fear two more were completely buried under the rock fall. I observed two or three people walking at the base, and I saw the block falling because I happened to be tagging up some gear at the time.

I saw a hundred foot by 100 foot by 100 foot chunk of granite the size of an apartment building peel off two thousand feet above the deck, hit the wall a thousand feet up and shatter into a hundred thousand pieces that completely annihilated everything be nice. It is inconceivable the people I saw survived. If there was one Survivor apparently? I am also pretty sure I observed a body recovery.

If there are two people missing, it will be extremely difficult to recover them from beneath so much Rockfall.

This next paragraph is pure speculation. Our guess is that there are two people buried, and the third person who appeared to be a girl in an orange helmet was spared. A guy in a green shirt ran over from the Zodiac area and probably went up into the Rock fall to search for the people who were buried. Ryan shouted continually from the portaledge to stay away because more rock was going to come down. We think that the guy in the green shirt is the one who perished and was carried away by the rescue crew. But this is only a guess based on what we saw. It is a true blue big wall miracle that orange helmet girl survived not one rock fall but too. She must have some sort of hedge of protection around her.

The photo they chose was pretty inappropriate I thought too. Oh well. I do give the media permission to use any photographs and videos they want. I made the Facebook posts public so you guys can all go see them on Facebook right now.

Thanking God big time tonight. Still shaking.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Sep 28, 2017 - 01:55am PT
Geez that is a F8cked situation for everyone involved.
Sorry Pete you had to see any of it though it was probably wild to see.
You too just_hendo, glad you and your partner dodged the business end coming down.
Amazing how close we all live to the edge a lot of the time and don't even realize it.

My heart goes out to all involved.

The mountains really don't care. They have their life and it is being lived.
El Cap is just doing what it does.

Prompts to all SAR folks and those who are on the 'front line' helping and putting themselves at risk.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Sep 28, 2017 - 03:10am PT
Glad you guys survived! Safer to go up and hike out rather than bail at this point????
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 03:33am PT
My thoughts are with all the witnesses to this massive rockfall. You must all be reeling with the shock and trauma of it.

Oh those poor folks hit. It's tragic for their loved ones. RIP
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:32am PT
This is really intense. Pete- I cant even imagine what it must be like to witness such a catastrophic event.

Condolences for the lost. Meh.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:45am PT
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2017/09/28/huge-rock-fall-kills-1-injures-1-yosemites-el-capitan/711402001/

found on Google News this a.m.

"thirty climbers on the trail"--typical misunderstanding by anchor lady
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:46am PT
Outrageous. I cannot even imagine being anywhere near something like that. I hiked up there in a rainstorm with my oldest daughter a few years ago and passed that spot twice that day. Brave rescuers.
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:48am PT
"thirty climbers on the trail"--typical misunderstanding by anchor lady

My dad, to this day, thinks I climb trails.
crankster

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:50am PT
PTPP, you've witnessed something few have, or will. Saw your video on the news. Terrifying, tragic.
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:58am PT
Man o man, prayers to everyone near or directly involved in this event. :(
7SacredPools

Trad climber
Ontario, Canada
Sep 28, 2017 - 06:35am PT
A horrible but entirely natural event, so why the need to bring Sky Daddy into this? What kind of God would squash some people with rocks but spare others?
My heart goes out to anyone injured or killed and their loved ones.

Garry Reiss
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Sep 28, 2017 - 06:35am PT
We dumped the water and are bailing to the summit!

Crankster - what news/tv? Spoken with ABC and NBC in New York, I think CBS, and good ol CBC.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 28, 2017 - 07:25am PT
Garry, for many, it's just a figure of speech like - The soldier "crossed his fingers" he wouldn't step on a Bouncing Betty. For many others, it serves as a synonym of "hope". Such is our language.


Surreal, Pete.
paganmonkeyboy

climber
mars...it's near nevada...
Sep 28, 2017 - 07:53am PT
...f*#k...that's massive...

My heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, SAR, everybody...

:-(
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:18am PT
It ain't over till ya hit the bridge Pete! Y'all get down safe today!
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:33am PT
Exactly HFCS. The sky daddy you are referring to is not the intended recipient of my prayers and thoughts Garry. Those somehow involved with this event are though. Sorry for any confusion.
Nick Danger

Ice climber
Arvada, CO
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:07am PT
Condolences to all who were injured or killed by this tragedy. I am thankful that Pete and his party are OK. Massive Respect for YOSAR - commitment and courage! Please be safe out there people.
JLyons

Sport climber
Cali
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:09am PT
Funny how touchy these weak "men" are when someone alludes to the use of religious means as comfort in a tragedy. Very telling.
Gobi

Trad climber
Orange CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:12am PT
Good thing you're on a speed mission Pete
Child

Mountain climber
S.L.UT
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:28am PT
Lets face it if there really was a god PTPP would be gone and not those poor other fellows! I mean, now folks need to continue to suffer through his piano! Jesus save us all!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:37am PT
The presence of JLyons and Child proves the Lord works in ways beyond our ken.
Daphne

Trad climber
Northern California
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:51am PT
I send prayers for comfort to the loved ones of those lost. And light to those who are processing the witnessing.

There is so much we can control when climbing but rock falling is not one of those things. To feel fear and invoke God seems a completely normal response.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Sep 28, 2017 - 10:01am PT
First, condolences to family and friends of any deceased. Good luck on healing quickly to those injured.

As to publishing the photograph, people are citing Copyright law incorrectly.

From the US Copyright Office:

"Fair use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. Section 107 of the Copyright Act provides the statutory framework for determining whether something is a fair use and identifies certain types of uses—such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research—as examples of activities that may qualify as fair use."

This is clearly news reporting. Those using the pictures have not hidden their activity, and have reached out. It's hard to imagine what else one could do. I think they have acted appropriately, and respectfully.
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
Sep 28, 2017 - 10:08am PT
This is clearly news reporting. Those using the pictures have not hidden their activity, and have reached out. It's hard to imagine what else one could do. I think they have acted appropriately, and respectfully.

I would imagine they could have:
1. Not used the photo at press time, going instead with the factual text gleaned from reporting (as the images are more about customer engagement with material rather than factual reporting)
2. Had some modicum of patience and waited until permission was granted
3. Updated the online version of the article with the photos once (and if) the permission was given.

Doesn't seem too hard to imagine at all.
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
Sep 28, 2017 - 10:32am PT
Yeah, because the image was secretly and securely hidden away from all eyes on...the internet. Who could have known?
john hansen

climber
Sep 28, 2017 - 10:37am PT
In this time lapse from the Yosemite web cam you can see a flash of the dust cloud at about 26 seconds in. You can also see the fresh rock exposed after the 26 second mark. If you play from about 20 seconds to 30 seconds a few times it is easy to see.

http://www.halfdome.net/movies/inspiration_pt/


Also above ,Anita posted a photo from Tom Evans. I checked his website and it does not look like he has his Sept 27 report up. Not sure if he still does one everyday or not..
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Sep 28, 2017 - 10:52am PT
Helicopter pilot Chris creamer wrote me to say that no one else is missing. I absolutely cannot believe that one person survived what I saw.

A true blue Big Wall Miracle.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 11:00am PT
How do they know for sure there isn't anybody else under that enormous pile?
hiker11

Gym climber
Lafayette
Sep 28, 2017 - 11:24am PT
My daughter was climbing in Yosemite yesterday and planning to portaledge last night. We've not heard from her. Can anyone tell me how advanced the waterfall route is? She's been training for her first big wall climb so wouldn't have been on an advanced route.
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
Sep 28, 2017 - 11:25am PT
How do they know for sure there isn't anybody else under that enormous pile?
They can't know 'for sure' but rely on lack of missing persons reports, perhaps a lack of unknown unattended vehicles, cadaver dogs? Just my guesses.
It's also possible that by the time all the dust settled the debris was not as deep as we imagine.
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
Sep 28, 2017 - 11:28am PT
John Hansen: Not sure if he still does one everyday or not...

Tom was doing once a week earlier in the season. Not sure about his return for part two of the bigwall season
nathanael

climber
CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 11:33am PT
My daughter was climbing in Yosemite yesterday and planning to portaledge last night. We've not heard from her. Can anyone tell me how advanced the waterfall route is? She's been training for her first big wall climb so wouldn't have been on an advanced route.

She would not have been on that route, and if there was someone on the route I'm quite sure Pete or others would have seen the party.
Axis

climber
San Jose, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 11:47am PT
2 Brits..a couple. Apparently at base - not climbing. 16,000 cu-ft estimated. 7 falls in all. Photo released by NPS.

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 11:53am PT
To put that into persoective imagine 1000 large dump trucks backing up to the edge of El Cap and dumping their loads.
chill

climber
The fat part of the bell-curve
Sep 28, 2017 - 11:53am PT
Listening to the 7 minute radio interview, it's clear PPTP was thoroughly enjoying his 15 seconds of fame.

Yeah! I saw a picture of him toasting the death with a glass of wine!

Seriously here, why the hate for Pete?
7SacredPools

Trad climber
Ontario, Canada
Sep 28, 2017 - 11:57am PT
Not to diminish this rockfall but wouldn't 16,000 cu. ft. be more like 30 truck loads?
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:00pm PT
https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/news/additional-information-on-rockfall-in-yosemite-national-park.htm
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:00pm PT
My math is often suspect but a large dump truck holds 14 cubic yards.

edit: My reading is more suspect. I read yards. :-/
WBraun

climber
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:01pm PT
This area has had active rockfall over the years.

Most recently one before this one yesterday I believe was 3 years ago which was even more massive it seemed then this one?

The one I believe was 3 years ago happen very early in the morning and hardly any witnesses as the one yesterday.

Having witnesses makes the drama exponentially far greater including the fact there were injuries and fatality.

For the life of me, I can't understand people messing around in these active rockfall areas, especially wanting to climb in them (PTPP).

This time of the year you get extreme temperature ranges from daytime highs to nighttime lows which encourage a higher incident of expansion and contractions.
aldude

climber
Monument Manor
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:08pm PT
Which routes are affected by this rockfall? Clint?
Crazy Bat

Sport climber
Birmingham, AL & Seweanee, TN
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:11pm PT
I suspect Pete was suffering from an excess of adrenaline. It can make your behavior far different from what others would normally exspect.

About the daughter, if you still have not heard from her try contacting the climbing ranger. He will be the most likely to know who she was climbing with, or who to ask about where she was climbimg.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:12pm PT
From Will Stanhope's blog in Oct. 2010:

http://willstanhope.blogspot.com/2010/10/california.html
Jason Kruk and I tried to free the Waterfall route a couple years ago, but turned around in the face of loose rock. A week ago, a giant rockfall obliterated the line we were trying. Often I wonder if the fear I am feeling on routes is justified, or just nervous hocus-pocus. This section of wall is really sketchy, and I think we made the right decision a couple years back.

Will posted this photo:
Heavy on the J

climber
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:15pm PT
@hiker11, to add to nathanael's comment above, there are TONS of other routes in Yosemite that aren't even anywhere close to El Capitan, and many of them would be great routes for someone that's building up towards big wall climbing. She is probably climbing on a totally different rock formation and might not even be aware the the rockfall occurred. Plus cell phone reception is spotty, so she may not get a chance to call until the end of her trip. Lastly, aside from the couple from Great Britain, NPS is reporting all others safely accounted for (can't say for sure how they know that). I'm sure the wait is agonizing for a parent, but just know that the chances of her being in the vicinity are MUCH smaller than what you might assume.

Sincere condolences to the friends and family of the deceased and all involved.
Mei

Trad climber
mxi2000.net
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:20pm PT
It is very unfortunate that this rock fall has caused casualty and injuries. My sincere condolences to all who are involved.

About the daughter, if you still have not heard from her try contacting the climbing ranger. He will be the most likely to know who she was climbing with, or who to ask about where she was climbimg.
I honestly doubt that climbing rangers are aware of the whereabouts or whoiswhos of 90+% of the climbers in the park, unless you are 1) famous, 2) actively engaged with a local crew, or 3) on El Cap which is being monitored by many lenses such as Tom's. So, do not let panic set in if the rangers don't know anything about an individual. I leave my phone on AirPlane mode when I'm in the park because I know reception is extremely spotty and I don't have a compelling reason to be reachable. So, to the dad, I can understand your worries. I hope your daughter will be able to make contact soon.
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:21pm PT
Haven't seen one yet, so here's this
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:23pm PT
Pete was climbing on El Cap, high on a big wall, and didn't ask to see this event, to see people die. It has to be traumatic. As well as, Pete still had to get to the top, and climbing has to be a bit scary after seeing a piece of El Cap that big come off next to you.
My condolences to the families of the victims of this tragedy.
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:27pm PT
My daughter was climbing in Yosemite yesterday and planning to portaledge last night. We've not heard from her. Can anyone tell me how advanced the waterfall route is? She's been training for her first big wall climb so wouldn't have been on an advanced route.

If it helps, NPS is calling "All People Accounted For" in terms of this event.
https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/news/additional-information-on-rockfall-in-yosemite-national-park.htm
7SacredPools

Trad climber
Ontario, Canada
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:30pm PT
"a bit scary?" I'd be terrified!
Grant Horner

Trad climber
Castaic, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 12:47pm PT
Wow. Just did Lurking Fear on Sunday with Tim Klein. Walking up to the base of the Western side of El Capitan in the dark I remarked how glad I was to be hiking on that side—that spooky rock on the far East side looked like it could just cut loose anytime and always gave me the jitters, me being in no way a bigwall hardman.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
Wilds of New Mexico
Sep 28, 2017 - 01:00pm PT
Wow, scary. Condolences to all involved.

I bailed of Eagle's Way several years ago largely because the looseness on that side of the wall gave me the creeps. I'm sure just about everyone on this forum has walked through the impact zone on their way to the East Buttress.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 28, 2017 - 01:00pm PT
hey there say.... (just saw a few post, about pete's interview)...

as to things that someone may say, or wonder about, on an interview...

also, please understand... just as a kind note...

1-- we all have different brain patterns... some folks naturally
share, by adding WHAT led up to the event-- it keep it in context,
as they explain, who, what, why, 'they are there' and thus,
how the 'what happened' affected them...

i have seen this many times, when helping others that have seen
something awful...

2-- it helps keep facts straight, in their mind, as they are
still actively processing it...

then again:

1--some folks that have another way of brain processing, will fix
in entirely ON the event, and nearly not even think as to 'who they are'
or what is going on, in comparing to WHAT they just saw... it is
such a shock, and they zero in on that instead...


everyone here, knows, at least those that KNOW these folks in person,
well, everyone knows, the utter pain and devastation of the precious
LIFE that all HOLD in there in hands, while climbing...
of course, pete would NOT BE 'enjoying a moment of fame' in such
a wrong way...

i'd think, he rose to the serious occasion of keeping things as straight
as he SAW them, and tell the NEWS (which clearly had quite often misrepresented climbers, in terms, and all the things you folks have
mentinoed here, as to PAST reports-- and thus mentally must have tried to
show what position he was in (first), as a climber, to PORTRAY 'why' he
understood, and was sharing the 'size and fall, and how rare it was to see this' etc,etc,

wheww... i'd have hated to be in his shoes, to do that, and KNOWING all the while that perhaps i have just seen precious human life die...


well, just trying to help make a better 'playing field' here for
everyone, as, it is a very hard things...



we are all different, but-- we all care...

my condolences to the family and loved ones, from this terrible event...



Express

Mountain climber
Vacaville, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 01:11pm PT
Not sure if this adds to the info or not, but here's a photo I took of the rock fall area just a few months back (June 3,'17). Pretty sure the area that fell is in this shot:


If anyone wants to borrow or mark up the photo, feel free. Condolences to the injured and deceased.
nathanael

climber
CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 01:31pm PT
If you'd like to look at the the rockfall area in pretty high resolution and pseudo-3D check out Google Earth, this link will bring you pretty much to the spot:

https://earth.google.com/web/@37.73111196,-119.62731216,1653.81446518a,383.44109501d,35y,22.8580864h,80.64120534t,0r

Click and drag to move around, shift-click to rotate the camera, and alt-click to zoom.

Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 28, 2017 - 01:35pm PT
My math is often suspect but a large dump truck holds 14 cubic yards.

The big belly dumpers you see hauling around construction sites hold 9 cubic yards. So that's about 66 truckloads of granite.

I can't imagine hiking and looking up to see that headed my way.

RIP
10b4me

Mountain climber
Retired
Sep 28, 2017 - 01:52pm PT
Also above ,Anita posted a photo from Tom Evans. I checked his website and it does not look like he has his Sept 27 report up. Not sure if he still does one everyday or not..

He doesn't.
crberg

Trad climber
Cave Creek, AZ
Sep 28, 2017 - 01:53pm PT
What Im curious to see is where Pete and his party are located in some of these pictures. Obviously too tiny to be seen but just the location from where his pictures and video were shot relative to the new scarring.
zBrown

Ice climber
Sep 28, 2017 - 02:05pm PT
just comparing

https://earth.google.com/web/@37.73074499,-119.63222097,1412.34088943a,2083.22525179d,35y,22.8489296h,30.62903631t,-0r

https://earth.google.com/web/@37.73111196,-119.62731216,1653.81446518a,383.44109501d,35y,22.8580864h,80.64120534t,0r
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 02:06pm PT
Here is Greg Stock's 2014 thread which described the 2014 and 2010 rockfalls from this same general location, and 2 photos from that thread.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2427078/El-Capitan-rockfall-11-June-2014
It appears the 2017-9-27 rockfall was a tall thin flake between the two yellow circles in the above photo.
No doubt Greg Stock will post an update when he has analyzed the before and after photos.

The 9-28 rockfall (source above the 2014 roof) is much (20x?) larger and no doubt Greg will go up in a helicopter to assess the risk of more coming down from the new source area.

aldude asked which routes are affected.
 East Buttress of El Cap - the normal approach trail goes through the fresh rockfall.
Wall routes:
 Waterfall Route
 Chinese Water Torture
 Get Whacked
 Pressure Cooker
El Cap base routes:
 Champagne on Ice
 Submen
 El Matador
Shultz's Ridge routes:
 The White Zone
 Annette Funicello
 Caught at the Lip
 Gidget Goes to Yosemite
 Crystalline Passage
 Bikini Beach Party
 Hooter Alert
 The Proud Snatch

Obviously tragic for the 2 climbers hit by the rockfall.
Child

Mountain climber
S.L.UT
Sep 28, 2017 - 02:20pm PT
Please do share with us all where exactly it is that you pay to pray. My tithing is ready, I want to join! I'm tired of this helmet!
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Sep 28, 2017 - 02:24pm PT
Not to hate on Pete, but I've known him for over 20 years, he's a shameless self promoter and it's obvious he used the medias interest in this tragic rockfall to spout on national news about how many nights he's spent on El Cap and how many routes he climbed.

Sure he's in a unique Birdseye perspective of the event to be able to do so...but I can't help rolling my eyes at his commentary. Though surely anyone who has spent even a brief amount of time with him couldn't be surprised by it.

I was once interviewed in the Camp 4 parking lot by the San Fransisco news channel back in 98 I think when a climber was killed by the big rockfall off Glacier Point. I was just a kid back then and when she asked me, "How do you justify the risks of climbing when you could get killed by rockfall?"

I recall saying something like "We all take risks getting in our cars and diving down the highway everyday. I'd rather be climbing then driving."

I meant it at the time but in hindsight after watching myself on TV it felt a bit callous and insensitive to the deceased climber, and I regretted doing the interview at all.
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 28, 2017 - 02:30pm PT


http://gigapan.com/gigapans/14729
Spufi

Trad climber
DeLusion, Ca
Sep 28, 2017 - 02:34pm PT
I thought that PTPP did a great job of not reaching through the phone to slap the interviewer. After a discussion of the climb being next to a waterfall and a bonus description of the specific waterfall...

What's the name of the route?
The Waterfall Route

Can you say that again?
The Waterfall Route

Are you saying water..faal?
Waterfall

Water..full?
Waterfall

Can you say it again?
Crazy Bat

Sport climber
Birmingham, AL & Seweanee, TN
Sep 28, 2017 - 03:08pm PT
Is that a climber in red on the right wide of the before picture on that gigapan? About 1/4 from the top and about 1/8 from the right side.
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 28, 2017 - 03:17pm PT
yes, there are 2 climbers visible in the xRez image...

anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 28, 2017 - 03:25pm PT
More rockfall!!!!!!!!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 28, 2017 - 03:33pm PT
hey there, say, anita... thanks for update for the climbers...

say, doesn't look like a good spot, for awhile, for sure, :O


and-- hope no tourists want to hang around there for taking photos,

:(
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 03:35pm PT
10 minutes ago from Tribal Rite.

This looked like a 20 story building coming down. The wall vibrated- stay away for a time.
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 03:39pm PT
Wow! That's an amazing picture Contractor.

Waiting to see the "after" picture from this second big fall...


Hope nobody was below looking for victims or investigating. Obvious now that it's not the place to be for a while.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 28, 2017 - 03:47pm PT
Has anyone been down the east ledges since this happened?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Sep 28, 2017 - 03:49pm PT
john hansen

climber
Sep 28, 2017 - 03:49pm PT
from the web cam a few minutes ago, looks like a huge section came off


Sept 27 after first rockfall at 26 seconds
http://www.halfdome.net/movies/inspiration_pt/

Sept 28
https://www.yosemiteconservancy.org/webcams/el-capitan

Mouse beat me to it,,

Edit:

That one looks like it could be close to 16000 cubic Yards!
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 28, 2017 - 03:49pm PT
Pic from Ryan Sheridan on FB


motherf*#ker!
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 28, 2017 - 03:50pm PT
Apparently it went down to the Zodiac pullout and into the Merced
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 03:55pm PT
Hope all are well below
hiker11

Gym climber
Lafayette
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:03pm PT
my daughter is on leaning tower right now. is this rock fall anywhere close?
Ixion

climber
Oz
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:03pm PT
I here the deceased was British

Where is this guy?

http://www.supertopo.com/inc/view_profile.php?dcid=OzM9NTo7IiMq
WBraun

climber
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:05pm PT
my daughter is on leaning tower right now. is this rock fall anywhere close?

NO, she is safe there .....
Nkane

Trad climber
San Francisco, USA
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:07pm PT
Hiker11: She should be fine. Leaning Tower is way across the Valley.
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:08pm PT
Holy cow that's huge!!!
WBraun

climber
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:11pm PT
Granite dust came all the way into the Village from El Cap

I first thought the rock fall was over by Camp 4 as the dust cloud was so huge ...
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
The real McCoy from the inside of my van.
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:21pm PT
Spealechless...
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:26pm PT
Dude, the whole waterfall/ on the waterfront buttress is gone.

That is like 600'x 150' of rock.

Probably ruined at least 10 Kohl routes, and a few others...
BFK

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:28pm PT
Pretty wild!
klaus

Big Wall climber
Florence & Normandy
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:29pm PT
Now that's a Rad rockfall!
Burnin' Oil

Trad climber
CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:38pm PT
I ran into a British couple from Wales on Monday. They were bailing from climbing South Face because of all the people. They were stoked about spending the last three days of their vacation climbing El Cap base routes. Really sweet people.
MacyJ

Social climber
Sacramento
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:39pm PT
Hi Contractor, did you take this photo? My name is Macy Jenkins and I'm a reporter with CBS 13 in Sacramento and interesting in using it in our newscast. Please call me at 916-531-4614.

Additionally, if anyone has any photos they are willing to share, please give me a call. Thanks.
myrddinmuse

Trad climber
Wales
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:41pm PT
This is absolutely mad. Devestated. I left the valley last week and now this happens. I'm hoping against hope that somehow nobody got hurt in this second big fall. Thinking of all my friends over there. Stay safe, everyone.
hiker11

Gym climber
Lafayette
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:42pm PT
New to this forum so don't know how to reply directly to those that answered my earlier question. But I wanted to say thanks to the people who responded about the location of the recent rockfall in yellow pines relative to where my daughter is climbing right now (leaning tower).
John wiley

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:44pm PT
“At any location on earth, as the rock record goes down into time and out into earlier geographies it touches upon tens of hundreds of stories, wherein the face of the earth often changed, changed utterly, and changed again, like the face of a crackling fire.”
John McPhee
steveb123

Trad climber
Uk
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:53pm PT
is it known for sure that there were no others caught in the first rockfall?
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:55pm PT

hagerty

Social climber
A Sandy Area South of a Salty Lake
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:55pm PT
Steveb: According to the update posted by the NPS earlier today:
" All other people in the area have been accounted for and search efforts have been concluded."
tithaf

Trad climber
Sierra Madre, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:57pm PT
Is that Lost in Translation that saw rockfall at 3:25PM today?
steveb123

Trad climber
Uk
Sep 28, 2017 - 04:57pm PT
Cool, thanks, I hope so
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:00pm PT
Looks like 20x larger than the previous ones. (Ryan estimated "easily three times" - could be more accurate).
Insanely great photo by Ryan Sheridan!

[Edit:] Northside Drive is closed between Camp 4 and El Cap Meadow, and Southside Drive is 2-way traffic between El Cap crossover and Yosemite Village.
[See Werner's post below]
dee ee

Mountain climber
Of THIS World (Planet Earth)
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:07pm PT
Bad news. I hope all the folks on the road are ok.
klaus

Big Wall climber
Florence & Normandy
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:14pm PT
that's all my route "Get Whacked"
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:15pm PT
hey there, say... hiker11...

did you get to finally get hold of your daughter...
i think i missed a few posts...


i did see the one, where they shared the area, so you could 'rest assured'...


and, by the way:

WELCOME to the supertopo...


there are climbers here for to 'show the way' to the young...
and to 'teach us, like me, that know, as, we don't climb' ...

and, there are the 'older seasoned guys and gals' that
have stories of encouragement and all kinds of stuff to relate...

along with the needed cautions, as well...


happy to see you here...
and we hope to see trips reports that you daughter can
one day share, :)
WBraun

climber
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:17pm PT
Northside Drive may become closed between Camp 4 and El Cap Meadow,

It's been closed since todays rockfall.

All traffic is now on southside drive as two-way from El Cap cross-over to Yose Village.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:19pm PT
hey there say, mucci...

as to your quote:


Sep 28, 2017 - 04:26pm PT
Dude, the whole waterfall/ on the waterfront buttress is gone.

That is like 600'x 150' of rock.

Probably ruined at least 10 Kohl routes, and a few others...


:O
cragnshag

Social climber
san joser
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:19pm PT

Hey Clint,

Yellow Pines campground host says that she got an alert that Northside Drive is closed, and Southside is now 2 way. We were at the El Cap bridge with the groms about 20 before the rockfall... Yikes!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:20pm PT
Bob,
Yep, Werner posted this as well.
So I edited my post.
BryanE

climber
Minnesota
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:20pm PT
Just got a text from someone in Yosemite saying that there was an even bigger rockfall in the same spot about 20 minutes ago (approximately 5pm pacific time). Does anybody know more about this?

Hope all is well.
tithaf

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 05:25pm PT
Just got a text from someone in Yosemite saying that there was an even bigger rockfall in the same spot about 20 minutes ago (approximately 5pm pacific time). Does anybody know more about this?

BryanE, did they clarify whether it was more recent than the one at 3:25PM today?

Got clarity from ^^^.
flyingkiwi1

Trad climber
Seattle WA
Sep 28, 2017 - 06:09pm PT
From Jim's post:

Take it easy. The thing about El Capitan is that all of the climbing routes to its top follow lines of molecular weakness. It's the basic rule of geology that troubles millions of people and the value we place on flat earth while surrounded by valleys.

If you find yourself looking up at a route you want to climb, wait until the rain falls. You will see every weakness we climb, streaming water.

During the time I was climbing actively (I switched to surfing and skiing after becoming a Dad), it would occur to me every couple of months that climbing roofs, in particular, requires willful denial of the reality of how the roof got there.
deuce4

climber
Hobart, Australia
Sep 28, 2017 - 06:14pm PT
cross post, some additional info here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Bigwallsforum/
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA/Joshua Tree
Sep 28, 2017 - 06:16pm PT
New video on this tweet from an hour ago, this sounds like a big one

https://twitter.com/DrBadger/status/913554732966322176
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Sep 28, 2017 - 06:22pm PT
^^^^^
Wonder if said “micro-quakes” were triggers or results in these two
rockfalls.
Juan would know..RIP

Paging gstock.
Maybe he was there today?
By chance?
klaus

Big Wall climber
Florence & Normandy
Sep 28, 2017 - 06:32pm PT
Looks like a New route to be done. I might have to come out of retirement after the dust settles.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 06:33pm PT
Greg Stock was probably in the helicopter shown in Tim's photo.
No doubt he's busy this evening.
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA/Joshua Tree
Sep 28, 2017 - 06:34pm PT
Looks like Pete & Co. were topping out right as this one went down. He said it went all the way down to Northside Dr.

https://twitter.com/DerekKCRA/status/913553778166525952

Yosemite National Pk‏Verified account @YosemiteNPS 2h2 hours ago
More
Northside Drive exiting Yosemite Valley is closed due to a new rockfall off of El Capitan. Use Southside Drive to exit Yosemite Valley.
klaus

Big Wall climber
Florence & Normandy
Sep 28, 2017 - 06:41pm PT
On the News they showed video from a helicopter of the Footstool
tithaf

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 06:45pm PT
gstock knows we're posting here but is super busy right about now .... Looking forward to his update though
Plaidman

Trad climber
West Slope of Powell Butte, Portland, Oregon, USA
Sep 28, 2017 - 07:27pm PT
THIS JUST IN!!!! Photo of scar on El Capitan Waterfall Route Yosemite!!!
Photo credit Sharon Birchfield
Thx Sharon!

Plaid
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 07:33pm PT
Looks like a New route to be done. I might have to come out of retirement after the dust settles.

I'm sure any new route will be as appropriately named as the one that just disappeared, Klaus.
Child

Mountain climber
S.L.UT
Sep 28, 2017 - 07:36pm PT
Wow she totally looks alive, and pissed off in that photo, or weeping, or both!
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Sep 28, 2017 - 07:37pm PT


More later...
Plaidman

Trad climber
West Slope of Powell Butte, Portland, Oregon, USA
Sep 28, 2017 - 07:42pm PT
Pete got the LA of The Waterfall Route!!!
Last Ascent©™®

Plaid
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Sep 28, 2017 - 07:42pm PT
Yowza.
Thanks Greg. I'm sure you're all types of busy. Thanks for taking the time to post here.
crberg

Trad climber
Cave Creek, AZ
Sep 28, 2017 - 07:43pm PT
So where was Pete and his party durring the first fall?
Plaidman

Trad climber
West Slope of Powell Butte, Portland, Oregon, USA
Sep 28, 2017 - 07:50pm PT
^^^^^^They were just above it. They dodged the bullet twice.

Plaid
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Sep 28, 2017 - 07:55pm PT
Holy moly!
crberg

Trad climber
Cave Creek, AZ
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:05pm PT

Sep 28, 2017 - 07:50pm PT
^^^^^^They were just above it. They dodged the bullet twice.

Plaid

Pinpointed on one of the latest scar photos would be pretty wild! Sounds like dodging a bullet is an understatement!!!
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:06pm PT

My best wishes for any missing and those gone. I have to say Kevin nailed it on the first page when he said:

Warbler

Sep 27, 2017 - 04:04pm PT
Looks like Eagle's Way lost a few pitches. It also looks like those big roofs at the top of the scar could indicate there's a lot more unsupported weight above.

Scary

I hope for the best on the ground

I took my first trip to the Valley in several years, a non-climbing family trip. Here's a cell phone photo from Thursday the 21st of the perilous beauty:
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 28, 2017 - 08:06pm PT
It's the end times.
Quick warbler, post some half nekkid selfies before it's too late.
#yolo
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:07pm PT
Great Kevin....then we can hear a repeat of that all time classic line..."it goes boys."
Rollover

climber
Gross Vegas
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:08pm PT
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:09pm PT
From Lay Lady- small scale rock falls every hour or so with a couple of suspect car sized flakes at the top of the release scar. Seems to be two parties on Zodiac or near there.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:16pm PT
I would imagine there are more tan a few new 5 star boulder problems down in the forest.
Gene

climber
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:16pm PT
Here's another before.

http://gigapan.com/gigapans/143467
Fogarty

climber
BITD
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:21pm PT
Looking at th two above photos, I'm lost for words😳
All my prayers to all those who have passed and my best too all survivors and YOSAR.
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:43pm PT
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:49pm PT
Cam and Bear

My deepest condolences...
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 28, 2017 - 08:59pm PT
hey there say, healyje... oh my... :(

thank you for sharing...

:(
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:05pm PT
Their site makes me feel so sad.......
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA/Joshua Tree
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:16pm PT
https://twitter.com/YosemiteNPS/status/913595020342464518

Shots from YNPS....second is chilling looking at the amount of rock spewing down from the face. Third shows how giant the rock scar is now compared to yesterday. Today's fall was so much larger in size like Pete said.
Mei

Trad climber
mxi2000.net
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:22pm PT
Edited: Deleted photo and links feeling not sure if the names have been released as there are no names mentioned in any official release or news article yet.

One dead and one injured is what I read . My deepest condolences to family and friends of the fallen. RIP! Sending my best wishes to the injured.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:35pm PT
Mei,
From the LA Times article
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-el-capitan-rockfall-yosemite-20170928-story.html
On Wednesday, a sheet of granite the height of a 13-story building — about 130 feet long, 65 feet wide and in some sections 10 feet thick — separated from the rock face and dropped to the base of El Capitan, officials said.

A couple were apparently standing at the base of the cliff at the time of the crash. The man who was killed was identified Thursday as Andrew Foster, 32, of Wales, according to the National Park Service. His wife was airlifted to a hospital; her name has not been released.
(They were walking back to the car under the wall, after they had retreated from 3 pitches up the East Buttress).
I have not seen a report on her injuries, but she is partly upright in photos of the short haul and entering the ambulance.
Mei

Trad climber
mxi2000.net
Sep 28, 2017 - 09:37pm PT
Thanks, Clint. That's what I thought. I was fearing for the injured reading some earlier posts. I hope she will have a speedy and full recovery, but I'm certain the mental wound from this trauma wil take a long to heal.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
ne'er–do–well
Sep 28, 2017 - 10:37pm PT
The massive granite slab that fell from El Capitan and killed a British climber was seen as a rare event.

"Sometimes geology just happens."
~ Alex Honnold
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA/Joshua Tree
Sep 28, 2017 - 11:27pm PT
Before and after....Wednesday's rockfall scar vs. Thursdays.

Oh man.

Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Sep 29, 2017 - 04:18am PT
Massive...

Late Starter

Social climber
NA
Sep 29, 2017 - 05:02am PT
What I find strange, is that looking at the before and after pics of the second fall, it doesn't look to be a rift, or weak area in the rock. Although I'm sure it's hard to discern any detail in the rock from such a distance.
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Sep 29, 2017 - 05:13am PT
Burnin' Oil

Trad climber
CA
Sep 29, 2017 - 06:30am PT
Anybody know which hospital Lucy was taken to?
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Sep 29, 2017 - 06:47am PT
Thursday, September 28, 2017, 15 minutes (about) after El Capitan rockfall (from the top of Snake Dike):



DeepGlue

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
Sep 29, 2017 - 06:54am PT
I took the time to make these slides, to put everything in perspective. Thanks to Fluoride for the first couple. Got the last two from Google Earth.
c wilmot

climber
Sep 29, 2017 - 07:04am PT
You are going to put gstock out of work deepglue...

SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Sep 29, 2017 - 07:18am PT
My sincere condolences. . .

Be safe out there.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Sep 29, 2017 - 07:33am PT
The wife and I were enjoying a snack down by Bridalveil meadow whe we hear the big fall. Hike up to the bridge an hour and a half later to witness the carnage.

Photos taken from the bridge just three hours apart.

Pete's hear is the black dot just left of center near the top.
myrddinmuse

Trad climber
Wales
Sep 29, 2017 - 07:34am PT
The store in Cardiff where Andy used to work and spent a lot of time has put out a lovely statement after being bothered for comment by several tabloid papers today.

http://www.upandunder.co.uk/Blog/archive/2017/09/a-very-sad-day-for-up-and-under/
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
Sep 29, 2017 - 07:36am PT
The pics show a large discolored area (beige) within the outline of the new rockfall area. Was there already a separation underneath there for long enough to discolor the rock?
Squench

Trad climber
Chapel Hill
Sep 29, 2017 - 07:43am PT
Like Hiker, I'm a concerned parent. Squish just arrived yesterday afternoon, just moments before the second fall. Mrs Squench and I talked with him just after, and he's fine. But we're anxious and worried and praying that the valley takes care of him. He's turning 19 today, so if you see a bearded kid from NC, please wish him happy birthday, make sure he's not doing anything stupid and tell him to wear his goddamn helmet.
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Sep 29, 2017 - 08:08am PT
Large blocks fell through the night with ominous thumps that preceded the other falls. There's horizontal cracks through the new exposed dihedral.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 29, 2017 - 08:13am PT
Gumby, I was wondering the same. It certainly looks like that area saw water seepage over a long time.
chill

climber
The fat part of the bell-curve
Sep 29, 2017 - 08:22am PT
Myrddinmuse - thanks for posting that. It put a human face on something that for most of us is just a geological curiosity.
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
Sep 29, 2017 - 08:29am PT
I'm thinking Pete might become a NIAD guy.

Susan
MikeL

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Sep 29, 2017 - 08:32am PT
Jesus
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 29, 2017 - 08:46am PT
If he had stayed in the place where he took the
photos on the first day of the rockfall
the 2nd day rockfall would have taken them out.

Is this true? a truth or an alt fact?
7SacredPools

Trad climber
Ontario, Canada
Sep 29, 2017 - 08:48am PT
God sure was looking out for Pete and crew!

I'm fascinated by this way of thinking; that the majority of humans see God as a benevolent super power when really, based on the evidence we have, He's just a dick.
10b4me

Mountain climber
Retired
Sep 29, 2017 - 08:50am PT

I'm thinking Pete might become a NIAD guy.

Susan

Nose In A Decade?
Urizen

Ice climber
Berkeley, CA
Sep 29, 2017 - 08:52am PT
^Yep. Just look at what happened to his son. Case in point.
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 29, 2017 - 08:57am PT
Pete has done a couple NIADs.

And yes, had they been a day or two slower, they'd all be dead.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Sep 29, 2017 - 09:18am PT
Awesome display of geology in action.

Mass wasting events like this are really rare in a human lifespan.

I wonder if G. Stock and crew have installed any monitoring equipment above and adjacent to this huge rockfall. To study the stone and try to learn something about these events.

I offer my sincere condolences to the deceased and the injured and I hope that nobody is buried under the rubble.

A trip to the Valley is supposed to be a rewarding experience. It is unfortunate that this happened to them.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 29, 2017 - 09:35am PT
Anita, it would be super cool - and super clarifying - if Pete could photoshop an X (marks the spot) on one of these pics where he and partners were exactly when rockfall #1 let loose (where exactly they took that amazing first pic looking down).

Gumby, Reilly, wondered same thing. There is that huge portion that appears oxidized / weathered in light brown perhaps suggesting separation from mt and thus not pulling its own weight and loading rock above indicated by the clean fresh cleavage.

Curious, there is that "little" "pinnacle like" ledge clearly visible in pics just up and right in the before and after pics that is just beyond the cleavage border. Anyone know if this ledge is on a particular route? Just curious is all. In the pics, not the very prominent, very much larger flake system high above but the lower more ledgey structure below.
klaus

Big Wall climber
Florence & Normandy
Sep 29, 2017 - 09:45am PT
that "little pinnacle" is a pitch on "Chinese Water Torture". Most of the lower parts of this route are gone as is almost the entire "Get Whacked" route. Despite claims to the contrary, most of the "Waterfall Route" appears to be largely intact. Potential new route in the white scar. I'd give it a Winter of storms to clean it up a bit first.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 29, 2017 - 09:47am PT
Rockfall in Yosemite is usually large and, given the slow process of geologic events, alarmingly frequent. The massive fall at Elephant Rock was not very many years ago and many of us can remember driving to the base of the Cookie on a side road now blocked by massive boulders twenty feet deep.
Everytime I look at Boot Flake I get the impression it's pasted onto the wall with chewing gum. I suspect that climbing routes at the base of El Cap (nibbling at the toes of the giant in Robbins' words) is beginning to loose it's charm.
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 29, 2017 - 09:52am PT
You are going to put gstock out of work deepglue...
I doubt it. Defining the rock scar outline where the rockfall originated is the easy part. Defining the processes and risk factors that lead to rockfall is the challenge. Where and when the great granite monolith exhibited vulnerability this week would have been extremely difficult to predict in advance.


cleo

Social climber
wherever you go, there you are
Sep 29, 2017 - 09:59am PT
Size estimate?

60,000 m3?

I don't have a very good reference scale, but that puts it among the largest in historic times. Large enough to trigger seismometers, I may have to take a look later...
10b4me

Mountain climber
Retired
Sep 29, 2017 - 10:04am PT
Everytime I look at Boot Flake I get the impression it's pasted onto the wall with chewing gum.

Yeah, given that rock over by the Waterfall route was a slab, makes one wonder how long a detached flake will be there.

I'm curious to know if Pete, and crew heard any weird noises prior to the slides.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 29, 2017 - 10:10am PT
WTF, do I have this right? it's Pete's group and not some other?


Thanks, too, I had missed this side by side gstock comparison with noted mention of climbers for reference.

Klaus, thanks for the clarification.

Original, gstock...

Chief

climber
The NW edge of The Hudson Bay
Sep 29, 2017 - 10:10am PT
I was at the top of the first pitch of Stoners when that big chunk fell off left of the Trip in 77?
By far and away the biggest I've ever seen.
Any estimates on how the two events compare?

PB

Edit.

OK, I think that last post answers my question.
Looks humungous.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 29, 2017 - 10:17am PT
If he had stayed in the place where he took the
photos on the first day of the rockfall
the 2nd day rockfall would have taken them out.

heh.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 29, 2017 - 10:27am PT
I'd say we're looking at about 10,000 cubic yards!
That's about 600 dump truck loads or 15,000 TONS!
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 29, 2017 - 10:29am PT
Nothing the lads at Facelift can't handle.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 29, 2017 - 10:33am PT
hey there say, Ojai...


whewww, as to this quote of yours:

Sep 29, 2017 - 06:24am PT
I just keep thinking about the SAR members that went into the fall zone after the first event. They probably knew more was likely to come. Risky job, we're lucky to have you guys and gals, thank you.


yes... oh my...




and mtnyoung...

thank you for the photo share, of all the rock dust, :O

looking at the photos--
when you see the HUGE rock-scape in FULL, from afar, the 'rock fall' seems so similar to 'water rolling off its shoulder' and it stands yet, so powerful in spite of it all...

YET,
to us humans, and the trees and land below:

the hugeness and tremendous power, in the reactions from this type of fall
is nearly beyond what we can comprehend... :O
and this last one... to fill the rock dusk, into the valley, :O

drawing near, by either BEING THERE, or, by zoom photos, (such as tom, takes) we see how 'minute' we are, compared to all that yosemite
HAS in masses of rock THROUGHOUT the valley...

i remember that since a small kid...

BUT--it is a whole OTHER thing, to imagine these RESCUE working, having to
DEAL WITH the aftermath of such a BREAKING LOOSE...

or, pete's group, dealing with it, and worse of all, of the
others that have died during one...

i also think of mason, and others, that we have learned of, through
the years...


:(


thank you to these rescue workers...
we can't thank you enough for what you do...


edit:
thank you for the BEFORE AND AFTER pics...
and,


thank you for the link, as to andy's lost, and the
honor, given to him...

prayers for his wife, as she recovers, and
must go on, without him, now...
Bushman

climber
The state of quantum flux
Sep 29, 2017 - 10:42am PT
My condolences to those who were injured, and to the family of the young man who lost his life. I hope that all climbers steer clear of this area for some time to come. Be safe.

Tim
Slabby D

Trad climber
B'ham WA
Sep 29, 2017 - 10:48am PT
I'm curious to know if Pete, and crew heard any weird noises prior to the slides.

ryansheridan We slept in the fall zone only a couple nights ago. I remember leading the pitches up to our camp, and thinking that all the rock was garbage. I was convinced that I would zipper the whole pitch if I fell. I guess I was right about that seeing as it parted ways with El-cap. I was really stressed after hooking and freeclimbing and really wanted a solid piece of protection. I placed a horizontal beak, and hit it once with my hammer. I swore I saw the whole wall drop an inch, I blamed it on stress and finished the lead but it seemed real enough to yell down to Pete as he cleaned the pitch. We convinced ourselves it was impossible that such a massive feature could move, even an inch.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZnUI30FXHf/?taken-by=ryansheridan


SO these guys were on the Waterfall Route? Anyone have a good pic with a topo to see where/how it passed through the rockfall?
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
Sep 29, 2017 - 11:06am PT
Nothing the lads at Facelift can't handle.

Collecting micro trash was getting a little tedious.

Susan
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Sep 29, 2017 - 11:15am PT
Yes, from Slabby D:
I placed a horizontal beak, and hit it once with my hammer. I swore I saw the whole wall drop an inch ...

That's quite a piece of reportage!

..........................

Condolences to Lucy and to all who knew Andy Foster.

A repost of his obit:
http://www.upandunder.co.uk/Blog/archive/2017/09/a-very-sad-day-for-up-and-under/
cleo

Social climber
wherever you go, there you are
Sep 29, 2017 - 11:26am PT
I placed a horizontal beak, and hit it once with my hammer. I swore I saw the whole wall drop an inch,


Geez, wow. Glad you didn't hit it any harder.

BigB

Trad climber
Red Rock
Sep 29, 2017 - 11:36am PT
Cleo:
Geez, wow. Glad you didn't hit it any harder.
....apparently it was hard enough
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Sep 29, 2017 - 12:05pm PT
If he triggered it, would this classify as the biggest trundle ever?
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Sep 29, 2017 - 12:08pm PT
http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/2-days-2-dangerous-rock-falls-at-Yosemite-12239909.php

Rock hit man on head as he drove out of Yosemite park

AN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man injured in the second massive rockfall in two days at Yosemite was driving out of the national park when rock and rubble broke through the sunroof of his SUV, hitting him in the head, his wife said.

Television images show Jim Evans, of Naples, Florida, conscious and his wife holding a jacket around his bloody head.
john hansen

climber
Sep 29, 2017 - 12:20pm PT

Here is the time lapse from yesterday, rock fall happens at 28 seconds.

http://www.halfdome.net/movies/inspiration_pt/
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 29, 2017 - 12:25pm PT
It's going to be interesting to see what time period (or freq) the experts attach to this particular size event. It sort of parallels the dynamics, distribution and statistics (freq as a function of size) of asteroid strikes.

That pic of the Evans is another way of showing us, I think, how fragile our atmosphere is - and just how much we take its status quo (eg, its clarity, its clemency) for granted. Amazing. They look like they're sitting in the aftermath of a war zone. Or else 9/11 NYC downtown.

http://wncn.com/2017/09/29/rock-hit-man-on-head-as-he-drove-out-of-yosemite-park/

Some Yosemite rockfall analysis...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRRtwxNZtJ8

[Click to View YouTube Video]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6LaIyHWcNI
brotherbbock

climber
Alta Loma, CA
Sep 29, 2017 - 12:27pm PT
Thanks for the link to the video John.

Condolences to all involved.
RjBlake

climber
Sep 29, 2017 - 12:28pm PT
I only ever lurk here, but thought perhaps I would post the following annotated photo that I made while trying to understand the position of each rockfall (2010-present), relative to the route. Any errors are my fault, but this is accurate to the best of my ability. It is sobering to compare the position of the climbers in the El Cap Report photos from 2015 vs. the recent rockfall, as I gather that PTPP and party would have traversed some of this ground on the 27th. I am glad they are safe, and very sad for the climbers on the ground, I haven't the words...


I used Antoine Guerin's 2013 gigapan as the base photo, and compared that to Tom Evans El-Cap report photos (10/9/2015 and 9/26/15) to get a sense of where the route goes. I then used gstocks photos from the supertopo thread about the 2014 rockfall to estimate their position on the gigapan screenshot.

Gigapan: http://gigapan.com/gigapans/143467

2010 Rockfall Photo (gstock): http://www.supertopo.com/inc/photo_zoom.php?dpid=Oj87OzoiICInJQ,,

2014 Rockfall Photo (xrez & gstock): http://www.supertopo.com/inc/photo_zoom.php?dpid=Oj87OzoiKScnJw,,

2017 Photos: This thread.

El Cap Report Photos from
9/25/15: http://www.elcapreport.com/content/elcap-report-925-and-262015?page=5
10/9/15: http://elcapreport.com/content/elcap-report-1092015
Crazy Bat

Sport climber
Birmingham, AL & Seweanee, TN
Sep 29, 2017 - 12:45pm PT
RjBlake, thanks for that amazing compilation photo.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Sep 29, 2017 - 01:05pm PT
I'm thinking the single beak tap as an agent of release is tantamount to a butterfly's wings instigating a tsunami. Not that I'd know much about these things. Probably coincidence tied to an inevitability. Who can say? I wasn't there. But seeing/feeling all that rock move an inch, that's a distinct possibility, and one of those holy mother moments, for sure.
the goat

climber
north central WA
Sep 29, 2017 - 01:22pm PT
I was at the top of the first pitch of Stoners when that big chunk fell off left of the Trip in 77?
By far and away the biggest I've ever seen.
Any estimates on how the two events compare?

I was in the valley at the same time, wasn't this one under El Cap Tree and wasn't Werner in the area when it happened? Didn't see it, but I sure heard it! I can't believe what this most recent event must have sounded like......
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Sep 29, 2017 - 01:27pm PT
RjBlake, really good stuff, thank you.

This video of Ammon's is from the Oct 2010 fall

[Click to View YouTube Video]
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Sep 29, 2017 - 01:29pm PT
The Goat: in 1980, Marco Milano related to me a story of rockfall near El Cap tree. IIRC, he and Werner witnessed cracks propagating. Might be the 1977 event you are referring to?

I was on the Nose in 1987 with clients, and while sitting in our sleeping bags at camp 4, we watched a sizable patch rip off of Middle. If I had to guess, it was 50' x 50'. That's conservative. Probably was larger (perhaps the width and height of a rope length). Crap is tearing out of that place from time to time, well within our lifespans.

Wasn't it just last week that we had a thread on debris from a big rockfall over by the West Face of El Capitan?

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/3011661/Huge-Rockfall-West-Face-of-El-Cap

(not to downplay the massive & deadly nature of this recent event)
ec

climber
ca
Sep 29, 2017 - 01:45pm PT
https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/upload/Quantitative-rock-fall-hazard-and-risk-assessment-for-Yosemite-Valley-April-2012.pdf
the goat

climber
north central WA
Sep 29, 2017 - 01:54pm PT
That was the story I heard, "cracks started getting bigger." I also recall the "shift" in the Hourglass that crushed some fixed pro at the crux around the same time

I witnessed rockfall off the east buttress/schultz's ridge late one spring afternoon driving west from C4. Crazy big block cartwheeling against a sunny background, scared the crap out of me, but compared to what's been occurring lately, just a pebble.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Sep 29, 2017 - 02:25pm PT
Just reading the summary of the document which EC posted, it's more about risk to structures (and the people inside of them) from:
frequency of occurrence of outlying boulder deposition.

Not that it isn't interesting reading. Or that it isn't on-topic.

Said respectfully (specifically addressing the father who posted up earlier):
But it won't necessarily tell a father what his daughter's risk exposure is from calving of large portions of rock when she's climbing El Capitan. Now that would be something to read!

..............................

But to continue with some excerpts:

The hazard line presented here encompasses a zone of deposition for fragmental rock falls in Yosemite Valley up to approximately 100,000 m3 in volume. It does not account for potential deposition zones of infrequent extremely large rock falls (>100,000 m3 ),

And this is a good one, always important for the risk-averse to know that walking the face of the earth isn't a wholly safe enterprise:
As previously stated by Wieczorek et al. (1998), because of the configuration of the steep, tall (~ 1 km) valley walls and the relatively narrow (~1 km) valley, there are no absolutely safe or zero probability regions for extremely large rock falls or rock avalanches within Yosemite Valley.

And the skinny:
Aggregated risk metrics for each study region reveal two important points: (1) Permanent closure of structures in Curry Village in 2008 reduced the overall risk associated with structures in Yosemite Valley by at least 87%, and (2) following the 2008 closures, the remaining risk associated with structures is highest in Curry Village, Camp 4, and the Curry Village Residential Area, respectively, with lesser degrees of risk in the LeConte-Housekeeping Camp, Sunnyside Bench, Castle Cliffs, Wahhoga, and El Capitan study regions, respectively.

Thanks EC!
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
Sep 29, 2017 - 02:50pm PT
[Click to View YouTube Video]

Nice summary picture RjBlake!
ec

climber
ca
Sep 29, 2017 - 02:58pm PT
Tarbuster,

I found the GIS maps quite interesting in regards to this stuff, especially the one on the time of year historically that rock fall occurs.

 ec
Carbo

Trad climber
Too far south
Sep 29, 2017 - 03:02pm PT
Tar
I was in Curry village that morning just getting up when it hit the cabins in the back. Luckily the people who had those cabins had left early. The rock popped and creaked the next night, a lot of people left..
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Denver CO
Sep 29, 2017 - 03:10pm PT
What I find strange, is that looking at the before and after pics of the second fall, it doesn't look to be a rift, or weak area in the rock.

My thoughts exactly, this section of the wall looks as stable as any other. Then again, the talus field at the bottom of any cliff is a reminder that most of the rock we climb on will eventually break off.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 29, 2017 - 03:12pm PT
hey there say, skcreidc... oh, yes! very nice (the study of yosemite, adn rock)... i DID get to see that...


thanks for sharing...


forgot, who shared it, when i saw it, but, yes, good share...

thank you so much.... done very nice and in good taste, etc...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Sep 29, 2017 - 03:24pm PT
EC offered:
I found the GIS maps quite interesting in regards to this stuff, especially the one on the time of year historically that rock fall occurs.

Yes, EC, from page 9, perhaps some useful, and certainly interesting data for climbers:

From the 96 page document:
https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/upload/Quantitative-rock-fall-hazard-and-risk-assessment-for-Yosemite-Valley-April-2012.pdf
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Sep 29, 2017 - 03:43pm PT
Insane. Best wishes for the family of the unlucky one...
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
Sep 29, 2017 - 05:04pm PT
Rockfall in this area is nothing new. In the spring of 1974 i was racing up east buttress of middle cathedral with my freind Bill when a very loud boom of rock fall interrupted our concentration. Clouds of dust quickly obscured the east end of El Cap then the meadows. Although not as large as this exfoliation a sizable scar was visible some time later when the dust lifted.
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 29, 2017 - 06:13pm PT
Rockfall in this area is nothing new

Yes, it has been going on for 1,000s of years...

From Greg Stock...


from the same presentation...

for more information on this age dating method...

Eiszeitalter und Gegenwart Quaternary Science Journal 57/1–2 179–209
Hannover 2008
Surface exposure dating with cosmogenic nuclides
SUSAN IVY-OCHS & FLORIAN KOBER

Abstract: In the last decades surface exposure dating using cosmogenic nuclides has emerged as a powerful tool in Quaternary geochronology and landscape evolution studies. Cosmogenic nuclides are produced in rocks and sediment due to reactions induced by cosmic rays. Landforms ranging in age from a few hundred years to tens of millions of years can be dated (depending on rock or landform weathering rates) by measuring nuclide concentrations. In this paper the history and theory of surface exposure dating are reviewed followed by an extensive outline of the fields of application of the method. Sampling strategies as well as information on individual nuclides are discussed in detail. The power of cosmogenic nuclide methods lies in the number of nuclides available (the radionuclides 10Be, 14C, 26Al, and 36Cl and the stable noble gases 3He and 21Ne), which allows almost every mineral and hence almost every lithology to be analyzed. As a result focus can shift to the geomorphic questions. It is important that obtained exposure ages are carefully scrutinized in the framework of detailed eld studies, including local terrace or moraine stratigraphy and regional morphostratigraphic relationships; as well as in light of independent age constraints.
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Sep 29, 2017 - 07:19pm PT
http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/29/yosemite-rock-falls-dont-deter-climbers/

In this Mercury News article, the climber mentions hammering in a piton in the immediate vicinity of where the rock came loose, and noting that the "Rock seemed loose."

My question for you geologists and geo-physicists is, can pounding one piton contribute to the loosening which led to the rock fall in a significant way?
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Sep 29, 2017 - 07:45pm PT
Drove through today. Crappy phone pic, but for a bit of scale you can see the boot flake (red arrow) and the new scar in this pic.
zBrown

Ice climber
Sep 29, 2017 - 07:48pm PT
Nice research tuo_trad

Karma
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
Sep 29, 2017 - 07:48pm PT
aspendougy, as a nailer and a rock sciencer, yes.
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 29, 2017 - 08:31pm PT
zBrown: that's Greg Stock's work. I just wanted to pass it on. Anyone who climbs
in Yosemite or is interested in Yosemite geology should be familiar with Greg's work.

For example...
Rockfall triggering by cyclic thermal stressing of exfoliation fractures

Brian D. Collins & Greg M. Stock
Nature Geoscience 9, 395–400 (2016) doi:10.1038/ngeo2686
Received 18 September 2015 Accepted 24 February 2016 Published online 28 March 2016

Exfoliation of rock deteriorates cliffs through the formation and
subsequent opening of fractures, which in turn can lead to potentially
hazardous rockfalls. Although a number of mechanisms are known to
trigger rockfalls, many rockfalls occur during periods when likely
triggers such as precipitation, seismic activity and freezing
conditions are absent. It has been suggested that these enigmatic
rockfalls may occur due to solar heating of rock surfaces, which
can cause outward expansion. Here we use data from 3.5 years
of field monitoring of an exfoliating granite cliff in Yosemite
National Park in California, USA, to assess the magnitude and
temporal pattern of thermally induced rock deformation. From
a thermodynamic analysis, we find that daily, seasonal and
annual temperature variations are sufficient to drive cyclic
and cumulative opening of fractures. Application of fracture
theory suggests that these changes can lead to further
fracture propagation and the consequent detachment of rock.
Our data indicate that the warmest times of the day and year
are particularly conducive to triggering rockfalls, and that
cyclic thermal forcing may enhance the efficacy of other,
more typical rockfall triggers.


RE the question posed ^^^ whether a climber pounding a piton could have triggered the
recent rockfall...My $0.02: that slab was ready to go due to multiple natural processes
acting over 1,000s of years before Ryan Sheridan placed that horizontal beak.
zBrown

Ice climber
Sep 29, 2017 - 08:44pm PT
Nice research Greg. :}

Nice reporting t_t

It does beg the question though if it was 1000 years in the making, why Sept 2017?

Karma? Was that one "pissed off ( or on ) rock?

tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 29, 2017 - 09:18pm PT
It does beg the question though if it was 1000 years in the making, why Sept 2017?
The monthly maximum crack aperture plot ^^^ might shed some light on why September?...why 2017? is a more difficult to answer.
zBrown

Ice climber
Sep 29, 2017 - 09:52pm PT
Very hard for me to read the fine print (may have to go to the source) but June looks kind of suspicious to me. Then, I don't know anything about geology.

It would be interesting to see the data from 2014-2017.



tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 29, 2017 - 10:13pm PT
zBrown: I replaced the plot ^^^ with a better image.

EDIT: July, Aug & Sept are the months with the largest difference in daily min/max temps. Also, I think that historical rockfall is evenly distributed throughout the year and that there isn't any seasonal correlation.

Here are a couple of additional plots from the same paper showing diurnal crack expansion and contraction in response to daily min & max temperatures for 10 days in June 2011


Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Sep 29, 2017 - 10:50pm PT
It's hard to believe it's a coincidence that Pete's Junk show was hauled through that rock scar the day before it cut loose! Jus sayin...
;)
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Sep 30, 2017 - 12:00am PT
Claire Mearnz and I were on top of Dolt Tower on the Nose in the early spring of 1985 when a large collection of sizeable boulders fell past us, football sized up to furniture sized.

Several climbs I've done in Yosemite have since had large sections fall off: El Cap Tree Direct (with Frank Sacherer) and North Face of Lower Cathedral Rock (with Layton Kor), and Half Dome NW Face

Be careful out there people
skywalker1

Trad climber
co
Sep 30, 2017 - 12:08am PT
To the family and friends,

I offer my deepest condolences. I try to think of my daughter or son, wife or husband or friend. I hope you find peace.

S...
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Sep 30, 2017 - 05:29am PT
Here are the dimensions and volume of the 28 September 2017 rockfall:

Height: 120 meters (394 feet)
Width: 45 meters (148 feet)
Thickness: Average of 2.5 meters (8 feet), with areas up to 8 meters (26 feet)
Volume: 10,250 cubic meters (nearly 362,000 cubic feet)
Mass: 27,675 metric tons (assuming density of 2,700 kg/m3)

Some of you may be interested to know how these measurements are made. We have baseline high-resolution ground-based lidar data for Yosemite Valley cliffs. During helicopter assessment I'll take hundreds of photos of the cliff as the helicopter moves. These photos are then used to derive a "structure-from-motion" photogrammetry terrain model that can be compared against the baseline lidar data. So the values above are not estimates, they are actual measurements with high precision.

This work its collaborative between the NPS, the US Geological Survey, and the Risk Analysis Group at the University of Lausanne (UNIL), Switzerland.

Bushman

climber
The state of quantum flux
Sep 30, 2017 - 05:44am PT

The new scar does have an odd whale shape to it.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Sep 30, 2017 - 06:36am PT
It's hard to believe it's a coincidence that Pete's Junk show was hauled through that rock scar the day before it cut loose! Jus sayin...
;)

:)
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Sep 30, 2017 - 06:38am PT
A frowning whale, with an intense evil eye.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 06:56am PT
The new scar does have an odd whale shape to it.

Yes. A breaching whale, too! Humpback?, lol


....


gstock, wow! Cool info, tfpu.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 07:11am PT
Wait, is our whale diving or breaching?
I only see the "evil eye" in the diving version, lol.


Breaching version.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 07:20am PT
If only the white could be retained over time then we'd have an angry Moby Dick diving!
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Sep 30, 2017 - 07:32am PT
It is obviously a middle finger.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 07:44am PT
gstock, so at 10k cubic meter volume or larger, are you able to proximate freq of this event (eg, 1/20yr) for Yosemite Valley proper? Just curious, your take.

From the earlier map, I count about 15 10k or larger blobs since 1857 in Yose proper.
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Sep 30, 2017 - 07:50am PT
Recurrence interval for a rockfall of this size in Yosemite Valley is about 6 years. The 2009 Ahwiyah Point rockfall was roughly 4 times larger than these El Capitan rockfalls.
WBraun

climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 07:57am PT
Here are the Temperatures leading up to the rock fall events.

These temperature extremes could have contributed to this rock fall event?

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 30, 2017 - 07:59am PT
Prepare yourselves, the San Joaquin Valley is moving east into the crumbling Sierra.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Sep 30, 2017 - 08:02am PT
wow!

Thanks for sharing gstock.
Fascinating.
I remember the big rockfall that came down in the early 80's from around upper yos falls.
Those boulders tumbling down the falls trail was some scary shite!

This must have been wild to be around. I can't imagine being in Pete + crew's position when that cut loose!
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 30, 2017 - 08:50am PT
the next 100MY for California...

[Click to View YouTube Video]
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 30, 2017 - 09:05am PT
Beachfront property DMT
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 30, 2017 - 09:07am PT
Looks like beachfront property in Elko, NV! WOOT!
zBrown

Ice climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 09:19am PT
First saw this video in the Physical Sciences building quite a few years ago.


[Click to View YouTube Video]

The long version with some history.

[Click to View YouTube Video]

The answer is blowing in the [180 mph] wind?



Harmonic distortion - karma


The main goal for Karma is to bring a productive testing environment to developers. The environment being one where they don't have to set up loads of configurations, but rather a place where developers can just write the code and get instant feedback from their tests. Because getting quick feedback is what makes you productive and creative.
zBrown

Ice climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 09:33am PT
and in news of the "Greg"


Geologist: Yosemite rock falls don't mean more danger

http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Geologist-Yosemite-rock-falls-don-t-mean-more-12243162.php
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Sep 30, 2017 - 09:39am PT
Will Durant's famous aphorism:

"Civilization exists by geologic consent, subject to change without notice."
john hansen

climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 09:44am PT
There is a new report on Tom Evans site. 'El Cap report'.

He has photos of the rescue on the 27th.

Good thing that big one did not cut loose during that rescue, there were lots of Yosar folks up there...

That could have been real bad.
Bushman

climber
The state of quantum flux
Sep 30, 2017 - 10:08am PT
In geological time it was a mere split seconds between the two big rock falls. Good thing YOSAR made quick work of their search and rescue, as usual.
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 30, 2017 - 10:09am PT
There's no increased risk due to the recent rockfall events because rockfall risk is always there and the recent events on El Cap are consistent with the historical record.
However...
Stock said it's impossible to predict when and where a rock fall will strike and detecting shifts in rocks could be a sign that one will break loose days or maybe years later.

The question "What finally caused or triggered the rockfall?" is a tough one...like asking which "straw" finally broke the camel's back? we know there are many "straws" of differing size being placed on the camel's back over geologic time.

"straws" include: seismic events, glacial melting, freeze/thaw, intense rainfall, chemical weathering, diurnal thermal expansion/contraction, piton placement, etc
ec

climber
ca
Sep 30, 2017 - 10:40am PT
My vote for the Beak placement...most tangibly dramatic!

 ec
crberg

Trad climber
Cave Creek, AZ
Sep 30, 2017 - 12:08pm PT
sweet short socialclimber ^^^^
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 30, 2017 - 12:42pm PT
Read about Walter Bonatti and Pierre Mazaud (sp?) on their FA on the Grande Jorasses.

There was so much rockfall that their rope was cut in 6 places and tied back together. The leader essentially free soloed a pitch and the second carried both packs. At one point a hundred meter high pinnacle peeled off and fell right over their heads.
10b4me

Mountain climber
Retired
Sep 30, 2017 - 12:51pm PT
Prepare yourselves, the San Joaquin Valley is moving east into the crumbling Sierra.

So Fresno, and Mammoth will be neighboring towns. Sweet!
zBrown

Ice climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 01:35pm PT
Watch out for sea creatures, too!

[Click to View YouTube Video]
10b4me

Mountain climber
Retired
Sep 30, 2017 - 01:45pm PT
What's interesting about Werner's graph is that those are ambient temps. It has been my experience in taking surface temp readings that those ranges are even greater on the surface of an object.

yes, take the air temp six feet above astreet, then take temp six inches above street.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 30, 2017 - 01:58pm PT
And then take it 2 meters inside the rock. Don't think yer gonna see much of a swing in the course of a day, or even a week.
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 30, 2017 - 03:03pm PT
Finally, our results offer a potential explanation for rockfalls that have no recognized trigger despite sometimes detailed observation at the time of failure. These include records of spontaneous summertime rockfalls in Japan, France, Brazil, Switzerland and Yosemite. In Yosemite, a disproportionate number (15%) of rockfalls with either an identified thermal stress trigger or an unrecognized trigger occur during the hottest summer months (July through September) and at the hottest times of the day (12:00 through 18:00 PST) compared to what would be expected under a random distribution (6%). We suggest that cyclic thermal stresses might be the trigger for these rockfalls and potentially many others around the world, highlighting the role of temperature in eroding steep landscapes.

Rockfall triggering by cyclic thermal stressing of exfoliation fractures
Brian D. Collins & Greg M. Stock.
The manuscript was submitted in Sept 2015.
zBrown

Ice climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 04:18pm PT
Good sleuthing around t_t.

Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Denver CO
Sep 30, 2017 - 04:22pm PT
In materials science, failures are often attributed to crack propagation. Granite is a common building material - an internet search turned up lots of studies in fields other than geology. For example, Thermal and Moisture Expansion Studies of Some Domestic Granites

The different minerals in granite have different linear expansion coefficients, which are anisotropic (depends on which direction in the crystal), not to mention ice, which is five times higher. It also apparently undergoes a ductile brittle transition at high strain rates. I haven't worked in this field in many years but my bet is on the thermal cycling and not Pete's junk show, whatever that is.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 04:33pm PT
Has anyone posted a trace here or elsewhere of the principle route or routes that used to go through the area? That would be so informative and interesting to see. (Not just the routes or trails hit by the rockfall but the route or routes that used to go through the affected area.)
Gene

climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 04:43pm PT
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Sep 30, 2017 - 04:46pm PT
Gene, thanks!
ec

climber
ca
Sep 30, 2017 - 05:18pm PT
#17 is in several spots that don’t make sense
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Sep 30, 2017 - 05:21pm PT
I just read that the man who died saved his wife's life by jumping on top of her and shielding her. My heart goes to the family and friends of this brave soul.

I am wondering about how much piton pounding still goes on with these El Cap routes. Most everyone is doing most everything clean, but evidently not all?

FROM MSN:

LONDON — A British newspaper is reporting that the Welsh climber killed by falling rock in Yosemite National Park this week died while trying to shield his wife.

The Times says Andrew Foster's wife, Lucy, told her husband's aunt that he jumped to cover her as tons of rock came cascading on Wednesday down the face of El Capitan, a 3,600-foot granite monolith that attracts climbers from around the world.

Gillian Stephens, in an interview with the Times published on Saturday, says Lucy Foster told her: "Andrew saved my life. He dived on top of me as soon as he could see what was going to happen. He saved my life."

The couple, who lived in Cardiff, Wales, described their love of the outdoors in a blog, Cam and Bear.
ec

climber
ca
Sep 30, 2017 - 05:47pm PT
I am wondering about how much piton pounding still goes on with these El Cap routes. Most everyone is doing most everything clean, but evidently not all?

Lots...some passages cannot be negotiated with ‘clean’ gear...

 ec
klaus

Big Wall climber
Florence & Normandy
Sep 30, 2017 - 07:01pm PT
ec, there are several errors on Sloan's lines in that pic. Weird that he made so many mistakes but hey it is Sloan after all.
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 30, 2017 - 09:14pm PT
Check out the description below of the rock avalanche event ~ 3,600 years ago in El Cap Meadow (black).
>1.64M m^3 of granite...100 times more granite than the 9/29/17 event.



Catastrophic rock avalanche 3600 years BP from El Capitan, Yosemite Valley, California

June 2010 
DOI: 10.1002/esp.1982

Greg M Stock and Robert A Uhrhammer
Abstract
Large rock slope failures from near-vertical cliffs are an important geomorphic process driving the evolution of mountainous landscapes, particularly glacially steepened cliffs. The morphology and age of a 2·19 × 106 m3 rock avalanche deposit beneath El Capitan in Yosemite Valley indicates a massive prehistoric failure of a large expanse of the southeast face. Geologic mapping of the deposit and the cliff face constrains the rock avalanche source to an area near the summit of ∼8·5 × 104 m2. The rock mass free fell ∼650 m, reaching a maximum velocity of 100 m s−1, impacted the talus slope and spread across the valley floor, extending 670 m from the base of the cliff. Cosmogenic beryllium-10 exposure ages from boulders in the deposit yield a mean age of 3·6 ± 0·2 ka. The ∼13 kyr time lag between deglaciation and failure suggests that the rock avalanche did not occur as a direct result of glacial debuttressing. The ∼3·6 ka age for the rock avalanche does coincide with estimated late Holocene rupture of the Owens Valley fault and/or White Mountain fault between 3·3 and 3·8 ka. The coincidence of ages, combined with the fact that the most recent (AD 1872) Owens Valley fault rupture triggered numerous large rock falls in Yosemite Valley, suggest that a large magnitude earthquake (≥M7.0) centered in the south-eastern Sierra Nevada may have triggered the rock avalanche. If correct, the extreme hazard posed by rock avalanches in Yosemite Valley remains present and depends on local earthquake recurrence intervals. Published in 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Catastrophic rock avalanche 3600 years BP from El Capitan, Yosemite Valley, California. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227781417_Catastrophic_rock_avalanche_3600_years_BP_from_El_Capitan_Yosemite_Valley_California [accessed Sep 30, 2017].
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Sep 30, 2017 - 09:38pm PT
How far is Middle Cathedral from El Capitan?
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Sep 30, 2017 - 09:42pm PT
Cosmogenic...No wonder your back is messed up....
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Sep 30, 2017 - 11:13pm PT
there are several errors on Sloan's lines in that pic. Weird that he made so many mistakes but hey it is Sloan after all.
hah, my thoughts as well.

I would have liked to have known Andrew.
If actions speak loudly I believe his voice continues to echo across the universe.

Total respect. Sincere condolences to all family and friends.
mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Oct 1, 2017 - 10:35am PT
Just reading the abstract of Stock & Uhrhammer 2010, quoted above by Tradster, an interesting thought comes to mind. This might be made clear by reading the actual full paper, but that's not immediately possible, so here goes. The source area for their El Cap Meadow rockfall (I guess that's the talus field below Zodiac, the most recent of the big talus deposits there??) is stated to be only about 40 percent larger than the source area scar for the Sept. 28 rockfall. But the volume of the El Cap Meadow one is almost 20 times as big. Maybe that's the volume of the talus field, not the rock volume when it was still attached; no doubt the full paper makes clear which is the case. But the void space in riprap, which is probably similar to the case in a talus field, is only about 30 percent. So the "swell" when the rock falls off the cliff and turns into talus is less than 2 times. That leaves another factor of 10 x, or more, unaccounted for. Unless the source area was much bigger than they determined, that means the thickness of the rock before it fell off would have to have been an average of about 80-100 feet. The SE face is pretty steep as is, imagine how massive of an overhanging section that talus field must have formed when it was still attached!
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Oct 1, 2017 - 11:08am PT
Just about all published research on Yosemite rockfalls, including the paper on the El Capitan Meadow rock avalanche 3,600 years ago, can be found here:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/rockfall.htm

Mongrel, you are right about the thickness of the El Capitan Meadow rock avalanche - we estimate the failed slab to have had a mean thickness of 19 meters (62 feet), which is almost 8 times thicker than the 28 September rockfall. I imagine it as another Shield Headwall on the Dawn Wall side that was cleaved off during the earthquake.
clifff

Mountain climber
golden, rollin hills of California
Oct 1, 2017 - 11:18am PT
Massive Himalaya Rock Fall

[Click to View YouTube Video]
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 1, 2017 - 11:41am PT
I’ve always had an eerie feeling climbing El Cap base routes. The more rock (and people) above you, the more chance for something to come down.
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:20pm PT

tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:53pm PT
Greg: is the recent rockfall from the Waterfall route primarily Taft Granite?

mongrel

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
Oct 1, 2017 - 12:57pm PT
Thanks, gstock! I've read some of those publications but it is great to know where to find them all. Geology is not my area but great science is just such a joy to read.

But you're a government employee, what the heck are you doing at the computer on a Sunday? :-))
Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Oct 1, 2017 - 02:21pm PT
This is how I recall the event.

Tuesday- While working our way up New Dawn, my partner stopped in the middle of his lead and commented that something in the valley growled. The rock was cooling from a warm day at this point.

Tuesday night- Monkey calls and friendly banter rang through cocktail/bong hour as climbers were enjoying the amazing weather and the company of other parties. Late night I awoke to the sound of moderate rock fall in the distance...what distance I didn't know.

Wednesday- As the sun warmed the rock wall, I heard a giant cracking noise and looked over to see two apartment size rocks detach and come apart on their descent to the ledges below. A very tragic scene ensued on the base trail with a rapid and courageous effort from YOSAR and others- condolences :(

Rock fall, that any other time would seem significant, continued unabated through the day and night. 1 am- Racing my headlamp batteries I pulled into Lay Lady Ledge stressed and beat. On perfect que, as I clipped the anchor, a voice in the darkness from above taunted, "welcome to wall climbing mate!" By that time I needed a good laugh- Thank you who ever you are!

Thursday- Again, small scale rock fall and ominous noises continued throughout the morning.

While resting on Lay Lady ledge in the warm afternoon sun- a deafening crack echoed across the wall and we immediately looked over to see a block the approximate size of a 30 story building release in what seemed slow motion, and fracture into many house sized missiles. The plumb line of the fall landed all the detachments on to a series of low angle ledges a thousand feet below and about 300 feet above the trail. The angle of the ledges resulted into the obliteration of the momoth blocks, casting them into an airborne talus field traveling to the forest below at hundreds of feet per second -ever wonder why all the rocks in a scree are of similar size?

For a second straight day, life turned surreal, staring at the dimension of the light grey release scare as is slowly smoked like a canon barrel that had just gone off (the size of a football field).

Thursday night- We planned our retreat down the route with loads and a few technical traverses looming. Late night we heard two car sized flakes come down- we had noticed them dangling from the top of the new corner right after the big release.

We watched Pete and team's ascent throughout- whew!!

Werner's heat chart seems to have pertinence in how events transpired.

The locals would have a much better understanding of the situation going forward, but it would seem that seasons of weather need to pass before I'd go near that area- there's several tiers of ledges with meters deep loose talus, delicately perched above the base trail. The base trail itself has metric tons of debris that will pose a threat to anything below for quite a spell.

Please support your local First Responders in every way possible! They deserve a place in our daily thoughts- knowing they'll be there for our loved ones, often at their own peril.





neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Oct 1, 2017 - 04:11pm PT
hey there say, contractor... oh my, thank you for sharing...

also, clifff-- another oh my! can hardly believe that those folks felt
safe, to stay there and film that...

:O

it looked like a moving river, :O
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Oct 1, 2017 - 05:08pm PT
it was more fun climbing the el cap base routes when we all knew everyone who could consider going above us and knew none of them were above us
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 1, 2017 - 06:31pm PT
Here is an excerpt about the big one near Happy Isles twenty years ago:

"At 6:52 pm on July 10, 1996, two rockfalls detached in quick succession from the rim of Yosemite Valley east of Glacier Point. Approximately 90,000-180,000 tons of rock slid down a bedrock ramp and went airborne, free-falling 2,200 feet to the base of the cliff. The impact generated ground shaking equivalent to a magnitude 2.1 earthquake, which was detected by seismometers 125 miles away. The impact also generated an airblast with velocities exceeding 240 miles/hour, snapping or toppling more than 1,000 trees. Falling trees in the vicinity of the Nature Center at Happy Isles caused one fatality and several serious injuries. The sky went black for six minutes as a large dust cloud blocked out the evening light, and the area around Happy Isles and the Pines campgrounds was covered in a thick coating of rock dust."

One thing that is similar to this one is that two rock falls occurred within short succession of each other, makes sense that one can shake loose another area close by.

It was most fortunate that there was only one fatality and a few injuries, with more that 1,000 trees being toppled.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Oct 1, 2017 - 08:33pm PT
Yeah....under a granite wall expect talus, under limestone scree.
Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Oct 2, 2017 - 08:15am PT
aspendougy,

Thank you for sharing this information regarding the man who perished.

I thought it worth repeating in case no one noticed earlier.




Sep 30, 2017 - 05:21pm PT
I just read that the man who died saved his wife's life by jumping on top of her and shielding her. My heart goes to the family and friends of this brave soul.

I am wondering about how much piton pounding still goes on with these El Cap routes. Most everyone is doing most everything clean, but evidently not all?

FROM MSN:

LONDON — A British newspaper is reporting that the Welsh climber killed by falling rock in Yosemite National Park this week died while trying to shield his wife.

The Times says Andrew Foster's wife, Lucy, told her husband's aunt that he jumped to cover her as tons of rock came cascading on Wednesday down the face of El Capitan, a 3,600-foot granite monolith that attracts climbers from around the world.

Gillian Stephens, in an interview with the Times published on Saturday, says Lucy Foster told her: "Andrew saved my life. He dived on top of me as soon as he could see what was going to happen. He saved my life."

The couple, who lived in Cardiff, Wales, described their love of the outdoors in a blog, Cam and Bear.


Condolences to all affected
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Oct 2, 2017 - 01:32pm PT
Now there's an example of a hero... Way to go Andrew...
Hubbard

climber
San Diego
Oct 2, 2017 - 01:45pm PT
Nice write up Contractor and photo too. Spooky.
wayne burleson

climber
Amherst, MA
Oct 2, 2017 - 06:31pm PT
FA team on Waterfall Route are not familiar names: Daryle Teske and T. Polk, 10/75...
Any back story?
BruceHildenbrand

Social climber
Mountain View/Boulder
Oct 2, 2017 - 08:09pm PT
Daryle Teske and a group from, I believe, Pacific Union College in Angwin did the second ascent of Mescalito. I think I remember reading an article their team wrote for Climbing about the ascent.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Oct 2, 2017 - 08:18pm PT
FA team on Waterfall Route are not familiar names: Daryle Teske and T. Polk, 10/75...

Rick A mentions doing the FA of American Wet Dream with Vern Clevenger, Tom McCabe and Daryle Teske on July 4, 1974, in the comments on this TR:

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Sunday-in-the-Meadows-a-quick-trip-up-a-classic-American-Wet-Dream/t12826n.html
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Oct 5, 2017 - 02:35pm PT
https://www.rei.com/blog/climb/the-surprising-frequency-of-rockfall-in-yosemite-national-park?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Oct 5, 2017 - 03:24pm PT
Where's the guy who climbed the RNWF of half dome when it was still raining gravel? Wonder if he'll get past this section with a rope throw...
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 5, 2017 - 06:44pm PT
I can't recall if I post it up here or not, the internet access is very slow here. On my Facebook page, I have links to three hi-res videos of the rockfall. Maybe somebody could post those links here please in chronological order?

The first video is the end of the first rockfall on Wednesday. The second video is probably the raddest, and the one I withheld from the Network's cuz I made some colorful comments. And then the third one is the big fall the next day
clifff

Mountain climber
golden, rollin hills of California
Oct 6, 2017 - 07:09am PT
https://www.facebook.com/peter.zabrok Thanks PTPP!

[Click to View YouTube Video]

[Click to View YouTube Video]

[Click to View YouTube Video]

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 6, 2017 - 07:27am PT
Praise the Lord, indeed, Pete.
And pass me a couple of rurps.
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Oct 6, 2017 - 08:47am PT

Holy flocking sheep!
Child

Mountain climber
S.L.UT
Oct 6, 2017 - 09:38am PT
Where do you pay to pray Zabrok? My tithing is ready! I bee-leave!
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Oct 6, 2017 - 09:41am PT
Pete, neat videos!

Be careful out there.

TFPU.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 9, 2017 - 11:55am PT
Hey there, say .....

Just running back up to the Captain, gonna get up on WOEML and repair that thing with Andre Kovacs and our very own Mike Blueblocr. We have some GOONS for Wino Tower!

Rockfall was very frightening. We surely cheated death on that one - it was not Our Time.

I don't believe in luck, rather more in fate and destiny. That being said, I am the luckiest bugger I know!

Cheers and see you on the wall. Way easier for you all to check out photos and stuff on my Facebook page, so hit me up for a friend request, and be sure to tell me your McTopo user name so I know who I'm typing at.

Thanks for posting the links to the Youtube videos. I will try to upload some stills at some point off of Anita's new camera. I did have the presence of mind to grab the good camera, and not my phone, to film the rockfall.

Cheers and beers, eh?
PtPP
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Oct 9, 2017 - 12:18pm PT





VERY Lucky Schnook FOR SURE! .sorry.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 9, 2017 - 12:36pm PT
Crazy Bat

Sport climber
Birmingham, AL & Seweanee, TN
Oct 9, 2017 - 05:56pm PT
PTPP your name was bandied about a lot at the TAG Fall Cave In. So I guess you were famous for two days in Walker County Georgia. LOL
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 10, 2017 - 06:10pm PT
Delete that picture Gnome.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Oct 10, 2017 - 06:37pm PT
14C at least.
JLyons

Sport climber
Cali
Oct 10, 2017 - 09:16pm PT
why does anything that guys does or says surprise anyone?
drF

Trad climber
usa
Oct 10, 2017 - 09:50pm PT
gN0me of the garbledaze is a barely functioning imp

I can't wait for its garbled response

Can you punch a garble face thru the internet?

Lemmeknow ;-)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 10, 2017 - 09:57pm PT
Can't take him anywhere, pees where he pleases, like me in my younger days.
drF

Trad climber
usa
Oct 10, 2017 - 10:03pm PT
Sans a pair or four ribs...

He can pee in his own mouth..

Why would you want to take it anywhere?

To the Circus!!
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Oct 11, 2017 - 07:57am PT
Thanks for the deletion, Gnome!
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2017 - 08:10am PT
Thanks Tut but not really appropriate for this thread, or even the site.

I know Gnome is a fan, but I don't get why he posts these pictures random-like every now and then. You guys.. you're all the same!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 11, 2017 - 08:22am PT
I am not!

I think I speak for most of us guys.
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2017 - 08:35am PT
*fist bump*
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 11, 2017 - 10:47am PT
Something was posted in poor taste and I missed it!?
You people have all the fun ... WTF.

(was it that old Lange ski keep those tips up advert pic from Gnome's stash?)
johntp

Trad climber
socal
Oct 11, 2017 - 11:06am PT
^^^

I missed it as well. Bummer.
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2017 - 11:11am PT
It was a picture of Warbler in a Speedo
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 11, 2017 - 11:43am PT
Stop pulling my chain Anita!
You keep it up, I may have to start posting up that Warbler cheesecake selfie at random, in the vicinity of your favorite posts ... heh, heh, ho!

(Good one Kunlun ... pretty darned funny ... phat guy in a comehither Lange ski boot latch buckle-up Lycra unitard ... I saw that before you took it down!)
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Oct 11, 2017 - 01:46pm PT
Something was posted in poor taste and I missed it!?

Just a picture of Anita enjoying the one day of summer in Canada.
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2017 - 03:37pm PT
Just a picture of Anita enjoying the one day of summer in Canada.

lol!
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2017 - 05:30pm PT
Yeah.. I asked for it, eh?
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Oct 11, 2017 - 05:33pm PT
Ok Warbler, I'll repost this just for you ;-)

clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Oct 11, 2017 - 05:43pm PT
Imagination is a wonderful thing. ^^^Not
WBraun

climber
Oct 11, 2017 - 06:10pm PT
LMAO .....
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 11, 2017 - 06:34pm PT
Well, I for one feel better that green unitard guy is back!
That photo just busts me up in all kinds of pieces ...

It's when threads get really wacky like this that I have the most fun.
Which, overall, is why I'm here.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 11, 2017 - 06:56pm PT
^^^^ Yes, but none of this is going to entice Gstock to post up here any more.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 11, 2017 - 07:29pm PT
True, true.
But after only eight more posts of hoo-haww ...

We can clean up the classroom, and start the next 20 posts fresh again, all back on topic and hair parted neatly on the side and stuff, right?

*Every thread has to die somewhere. Alternatively we could make a pact, (cooperation & coordination being a hallmark of our comportment on this forum), that everyone involved in the last 33 posts makes a clean sweep of deletes.
drF

Trad climber
usa
Oct 11, 2017 - 07:33pm PT
Parting of the hairs?

I'd say right down the midlands ;-)
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Oct 11, 2017 - 07:45pm PT
I just can't wait till Boot or Texas flakes take the plunge...fun is where you find it.
cavemonkey

Ice climber
ak
Oct 11, 2017 - 08:04pm PT
As much as I like anita514 sexy pics......gnomes addition was way out of line!
Banned and/or arrested
And this is coming from a debaucherious loose cannon
Not cool bro
I'm sorry anita, i will Delete that pic from mymind
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Oct 11, 2017 - 08:18pm PT
Like the old growth forest that once lived on this mountain side where I type, some things cannot be unsawn.

;)
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Oct 11, 2017 - 08:27pm PT
Sounds like those of us who missed the Gnome gaffe can count ourselves as lucky?
I should've known the Lange tips up girl couldn't have caused such a ruckus.

[edit] Well, Thanks for the follow-up, Kunlun. As giddy as this has made us in recent posts, I tend to try to do the right thing. Reilly and Mouse have made their points and I hear them. Question is, who's going to move this back on topic? Is there more useful geodynamic (?) inquiry to be had here?
VVV
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Oct 11, 2017 - 09:29pm PT
Roy, what was out of line was Anita didn't give permission. The photo must have been posted publicly somewhere for Gnome to get it, and there was nothing too salacious about it. Was a nice photo of Anita really, but as OT as this entire diversion.....

I'm tempted to post the Lange poster, even though she was skiing a bit backseat, but clearly in control.

VVV N America is SO conservative at times. Clearly different from European norms.... no wonder we have a bozo for President.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Oct 11, 2017 - 10:04pm PT
I think you owe Bozo an apology
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Oct 18, 2017 - 05:23pm PT
We got a nice look at the slide today from Taft Point. Could really see just how deep it is.












DonC

climber
CA
Oct 18, 2017 - 09:28pm PT
A slow news night so played with an interesting angle of this event. Not much you can do to enhance a jpeg, also not many pixels to work with, so don't know if this helps? Will remove if original photographer wants it removed.




John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Oct 19, 2017 - 06:29am PT
Thank you Don. That's amazing you could do that. I had multiple camera fail and ended up using my phone.
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 20, 2017 - 06:10am PT
More rockfall happening now apparently on SE face...

Janie Har

Social climber
San Francisco
Oct 20, 2017 - 07:37am PT
Hello, I'm a reporter with AP. Can anyone tell me more about the rock fall occurring now? Thanks much, Janie Har 415-495-1708 jhar@ap.org
Mike.

climber
Oct 20, 2017 - 08:45am PT
We were on ElCap on Fruitbowl Tower on the Bumpkin-Horney var of the Atlantic Dihedral route when the entire tower broke away and slid down the wall. Thankfully my belyr and i were on the same chunk, so our rope is ok. We gonna grab some bolts from the car a few Cobras and degmuffins and head back up, looks like good hooking maybe loose.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 20, 2017 - 08:49am PT
Darwin abides.
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 20, 2017 - 08:54am PT
Mike - pics??
I will be there next week.. better bring my helmet!
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Oct 20, 2017 - 09:09am PT
Zion doesn't have this problem, all the loose stuff is changed to the wall. Some chain and a few cans of Flex Seal should do the job.
Mike.

climber
Oct 20, 2017 - 09:14am PT
sorry neetz, no pics, these snake first ask later media types can find me if they want xclusive content. safe tarvels, ho to pete.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Oct 20, 2017 - 09:29am PT
Oh look a reporter! Yes this is the best place to find the latest info. Except Pete's Facebook page might be a bit better.

Warning: We will play tricks on you here. Stepping into this forum is a little like going into one of those Pirate bars that Disney put in the POTC movies.
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Oct 20, 2017 - 09:49am PT
Pete just Facebook posted a shot. Looks like a great big talus pile just to the right of the original Waterfall route pile.

His angle is not good to see where it came from. Someone on the Valley floor is going to need to post up.

Looks like a very high volume fall.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Oct 20, 2017 - 11:32am PT
Another huge rockfall at 6 a.m. this morning during substantial rain. We are at Wino Tower on the Wall of Early Morning Light.

It was still completely dark and I couldn't see anything through the rain and the clouds,except for all of the Sparks lighting up the Impact Zone where the Falling Rock was hitting the talus. Totally rad considering it was pissing down rain!

The terrifying rumbling and crashing continued for the better part of 10 minutes. It sounded as though the entire right hand side of El Cap was crashing to the ground!

From here it looks as though the rockfall originated in the upper right quadrant of the second major waterfall route rockfall. In the dark, I saw Cars stopping down near the Zodiac pull out and wondered if anyone got hit, but the road has remained open so far as I'm aware, and I don't believe there were any injuries.

One ought to think twice about climbing anywhere to the right of around Native Son.

My connection is a bit slow now to upload photos but I have a few on my Facebook page. No doubt Tom Evans and Greg stock will come up with some good ones later today.

If anyone wants to scarf photos from my Facebook page, and upload them on this thread, I would appreciate it. There is a before photo from yesterday, and a bunch of after photos.

Risk

Mountain climber
Olympia, WA
Oct 20, 2017 - 11:57am PT
From PTPP Facebook

Today:

Yesterday:
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
Oct 20, 2017 - 11:57am PT
From Pete's FB Page:
"Today. Kind of bad lighting. Give it some time for clouds to burn off. Maybe R side of Waterfall Route Rock scar?"
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Oct 20, 2017 - 02:09pm PT
Based on the photo comparison below (the photo on the right is from this morning) I see no obvious change in the source area of the 28 September 2017 rockfall, or on the cliff below it. Note that rain last night washed the cliff clean so the photos appear somewhat different for that reason.


I'm not yet sure where the rockfall this morning originated. Many people heard it, but opinions vary as to where the sound came from.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Oct 22, 2017 - 04:20pm PT
The waterfall rte just cut loose AGAIN



I think their gunna have to change its name to The Rock Fall Rte😳
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Oct 22, 2017 - 06:17pm PT
hey there, say, BLUEBLOCR... wow, ... oh my... i just saw that on the facebook now... :O
east side underground

climber
paul linaweaver hilton crk ca
Oct 22, 2017 - 06:54pm PT
was in El cap meadow a little after 4;00 pm heard a few rocks then saw the latest rockfall from waterfall route wow! we were joking all day about rockfall then just stopped for a few before heading home at the meadow . unreal...
myrddinmuse

Trad climber
Wales
Oct 23, 2017 - 09:37am PT
Hi guys. Sorry to hear about the reports of further rockfall, hope everybody in the valley stays safe.

A fundraiser has been set up by the friends and family of Andy Foster, the victim of the first rockfall who died shielding his wife, Lucy, who is now in recovery. The money will go towards helping to introduce young people into the world that Andy loved (i.e. climbing, skiing, hiking, surfing.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/camandbear?utm_id=106&utm_term=9p2XQBq3j

I know many here were affected by the events of that day, and if you feel like donating, follow the above link, or share it about.

Cheers guys.

micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Oct 23, 2017 - 11:11am PT
Woah BLUEBLOCCR and Pete! Glad yall are out of the action zone but you are insane to be up there on that thing at all right now! Thanks for the updates though. Stay frosty up there!

Scott
Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
Nov 1, 2017 - 07:11pm PT
Andrew Foster: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/29/british-climber-killed-yosemite-rock-fall-on-dream-holiday-andrew-foster

In memory of Andrew Foster, we are raising funds that will be used to help young people, who may not otherwise have the opportunity, to experience, enjoy and respect the great outdoors and our natural environment through adventures such as climbing, skiing, surfing and other similar activities.

Andy's love of the outdoors and the natural world was absolutely infectious. As a passionate climber, Andy loved learning new skills and in turn absolutely revelled in sharing his knowledge and experience with others. Sadly Andrew was taken from us in a tragic rock fall accident in the most heroic and brave circumstances shielding and saving someone he loved.

We would therefore like to honour his memory, general enthusiasm for life and love for encouraging others to experience the great outdoors, by establishing the 'Cam & Bear fund for adventure'. Our ultimate mission is to establish an ongoing charity in Andrew's name, aimed at providing young people more opportunities to experience the types of activities that Andrew loved, whilst also learning the importance of protecting our natural environment. You can learn more about the type of person Andrew was by visiting his 'blog' that he and his wife had set up to share their adventures, experience and tips on climbing to hopefully inspire others: https://www.camandbearuk.com/

They have raised over 3,000 pounds so far.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/camandbear?utm_id=106&utm_term=g32zeaqW5

I hope that his wife Lucy is recovering well from her injuries.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Nov 2, 2017 - 09:09am PT
^^^Thank You MH!

There hasn't been much talk around the valley floor about this tragic event.. I don't much like dwelling on injuries at all either. BUT ,, I do think Andy Foster is one of the greatest modern heros this world can see!!! He unreluctantly sacrificed his own life to save another. I nominate him for the highest Medal of Honor this country has to offer!!! Along with a parade through NY city with a 21,,,,22 gun salute🗽

Rest In Peace Andy Foster🙏
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Nov 2, 2017 - 11:25am PT
hey there, say, mighty hiker... thank you for the update, and nice, post...

yes, also, i hope his wife is recovering well, and
has many around her, to keep her strong through this
sad time, going forward, without him... :(
The Wolf

Trad climber
Martinez, CA
Nov 3, 2017 - 10:39am PT
This is the video that was on the Rock & Ice online site. Edited rock fall footage and tour of fall zone area
[Click to View YouTube Video]
cliffhanger

Trad climber
California
Nov 3, 2017 - 12:22pm PT
Climber trundles massive slab

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi2dMUT8WAo
iron duchess maiden or whatever

Social climber
under a pile of rock
Nov 7, 2017 - 04:22am PT
Mighty Hiker,


Sorry. I prefer to donate for those who were ours. I may sound like a boetch, but dean, stanley, many others, are and forever will be our people.

Hikers at the base of EC, are chance deaths. If I die hiking the base,
don't ever make a fuss. I strickly forbid you to make a fuss.

I saw a 2011 rockfall, that side of EC (the sailboat) while climbing on the other side of the ditch. We all stood up in Camp 4 in 2008 when EC growled one nignt. All checked on whom they knew on the beast that night.

I may sound mean to those who recently died, but I'd rather die there, than 3 years of cancer on a bed like many people I watched dying slowly over the last years.

Cheers.
RIP to all of us, ultimately, that's where we are heading.

SAA


Shipoopoi,
it's not: pass the poser pete, it is Pass The Pinot Pete.
Late Starter

Social climber
NA
Nov 7, 2017 - 05:46am PT
They just got done bailing off the E. Buttress.
Some opinions are better left unsaid (specifically yours). And yes, you're a total Jackass(This opinion is OK, as it's plainly obvious).
i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
Nov 7, 2017 - 08:56am PT
Sorry. I prefer to donate for those who were ours. I may sound like a boetch, but dean, stanley, many others, are and forever will be our people.
perhaps you could make a list of who is 'ours' and who isn't so we can know whether donating to their cause is ok or not.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 7, 2017 - 10:01am PT
Does every thread have to turn into a pissing match?
Gary

Social climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Nov 7, 2017 - 12:19pm PT
Pretty much.
j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
Nov 7, 2017 - 12:34pm PT
Quoting iron duchess maiden or whatever

Sorry. I prefer to donate for those who were ours. I may sound like a boetch, but dean, stanley, many others, are and forever will be our people.

Hikers at the base of EC, are chance deaths. If I die hiking the base,
don't ever make a fuss. I strickly forbid you to make a fuss.

I saw a 2011 rockfall, that side of EC (the sailboat) while climbing on the other side of the ditch. We all stood up in Camp 4 in 2008 when EC growled one nignt. All checked on whom they knew on the beast that night.

I may sound mean to those who recently died, but I'd rather die there, than 3 years of cancer on a bed like many people I watched dying slowly over the last years.

Cheers.
RIP to all of us, ultimately, that's where we are heading.

SAA

The hypocrisy is awesome:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=3009252&msg=3010530#msg3010530
Quoting iron duchess maiden or whatever
As i am watching the beauty of sunrise on the valley, I can't help wondering about the foulness on the Taco.
The sunrise is via the webcams. The foulness seems just as real as the sunrise. Perhaps more. It seems I can smell its stench.

and

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2642895&msg=2643102#msg2643102
Quoting iron duchess maiden or whatever
Yes Tom,

you do know how the Taco is. These days, as before...
it hasn't changed much, except of course, for
the fact that the haters are proportionally increasing. It's a new generation Tom. 1970s climbers were proud and free. But these kids, it's scary. Seems a lot of young people have little to do all day other than throwing up their last meal onto whatever appears on their screen.

Pathetic.
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Dec 5, 2017 - 12:43pm PT
We recently learned something interesting about the 22 October 2017 El Capitan rockfall that I wanted to pass along.

Using new structure-from-motion photogrammetry techniques, we have been able to make photo-based 3D models of the recently active area of El Capitan after each major rockfall; by differencing these models we can precisely determine rockfall locations, dimensions, and volumes.

Analysis of the 22 October rockfall shows that it was located beneath the larger scars from the 27-28 September rockfalls, and that it connected with a scar created back in October 2010. The rockfall consisted of an exfoliation sheet 12-16 meters (40-52 feet) wide, 28 meters (90 feet) tall, and up to 1 m (3 feet) thick, for a total volume of 187 cubic meters. (As a reminder, the biggest rockfall on 28 September was more than 10,000 cubic meters in volume.)

The more interesting - and unexpected - result is that the analysis also shows unequivocally that a similar-sized exfoliation sheet located directly above the 22 October source area has moved outward by about 10-20 cm (4-8 inches). This likely happened coincident with the 22 October rockfall, but it is also possible that the deformation occurred gradually. This is the first time that we have positively identified deformation of this type.





Considering that predicting a rockfall requires knowing exactly when it will occur, where it will occur, and how big it will be, it is interesting to think that we have 2/3 of that information here.
Unfortunately, determining the remaining 1/3 (exactly when it will occur) is not (yet) possible. We will continue to monitor the detached sheet, but it could exist for years or longer... or it could fall off tomorrow. I just wanted to pass along this information as climbers consider their El Cap objectives for next year.

This research is collaborative between the NPS, USGS, and University of Lausanne.

Greg Stock
Yosemite Park Geologist
(209) 379-1420
greg_stock@nps.gov

Levy

Big Wall climber
Calabasas
Dec 5, 2017 - 12:56pm PT
Fascinating post Greg. It is interesting how modern technology enables us to see the outward bulges before they fall off.

It gives new meaning to the term "expanding flake'!
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Dec 5, 2017 - 01:02pm PT
That is amazing, thanks for posting
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Dec 5, 2017 - 01:19pm PT

Looks like a nice lieback flake, but I wouldn't do it.

Well that caption got me to laugh out loud :)
crøtch

climber
Dec 5, 2017 - 01:49pm PT
Great work, Greg!
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
Dec 5, 2017 - 01:53pm PT
Greg, TFPU.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
Dec 5, 2017 - 02:04pm PT
Greg, did you see the photos that someone took of one of the rockfalls in September, showing rocks going straight sideways from the wall? That is, showing the release of the tension/compression forces?

What was the sequence of dates and volumes/masses from September on, at least of the larger falls? I take it that there have been many minor subsequent falls.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Dec 5, 2017 - 04:01pm PT
Don't even waste my time with a mere 187 cubic meters, dude....

We eat that kinda stuff for breakfast.

I am out right now and way from my laptop and my photos. Was October 22nd rockfall the big one that happen at 6 in the morning in the dark?
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Dec 5, 2017 - 06:41pm PT
Thanks Greg!

Meanwhile...Klaus plots his new line!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 5, 2017 - 06:54pm PT
Great work, Greg.
Thanks for sharing.
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Dec 6, 2017 - 09:53am PT
There were two large rockfalls in October, one on the 20th at about 6 am and another on the 22nd at 4:04 pm. I think the scar shown in my last post might be composite from those two events, but we aren't able to parse that out in our analysis. The scar created on September 28 has also had several small rockfalls from within it.

Overall there have been more than a dozen rockfalls from this location since late September, with the latest one occurring on November 30 at 4:37 pm. This latest one was relatively small (about 25 cubic meters) and came from the very top of the scar.


Anders, I did see Pete's video that seemed to show a rockfall coming off the cliff with some initial horizontal component, but I think that might be an illusion due to the overhanging nature of the cliff there. Generally speaking rockfalls tend to initiate vertically (except during earthquakes), but I am open to other possibilities.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Dec 6, 2017 - 12:14pm PT
A very coarse explanation of summer exfoliation.

First consider the thickness of the slab that apparently fell in the 2nd day rockfall. I don't know how thick it was (I doubt anyone can know for certain) so let's take a guess of 2 feet as this is a thickness I have commonly encountered on El Cap dihedrals.

Now let that slab sit all night so that the temperature on the outside surface goes down and becomes closer to the inner surface temp. It was a clear night so surface radiation from the slab was a maximum.

Now the sun comes up in the Valley and illuminates the south facing slab. It was warm by midday. In Yellow Pines it had been a clear and chilly night. I'd had to pull on a sweater in my summer weight bag. By mid morning I was in shorts and tee shirt. The day/ night temp difference was large.

So now we're late afternoon and the outside of the slab has been warming up for 6 or more hours. This causes the outer surface to expand not only in thickness but also in height and width . The slab is dozens of feet wide and several times that high. So the sun facing side is growing wider and taller. However the inner side of the slab which likely has thin gaps between the flake and the wall, is expanding much more slowly. Because the thermal conductivity of granite is low the inner surface remains much cooler. This differential expansion between the inner and outer surfaces causes the entire slab to warp in all directions! This pulls the entire slab away from the wall. Just a little bit. Every day/night cycle. The warpage being determined by the day/night temperature difference. Day after day after day. This can/will cause micro fractures in the slab and between the slab and the "rock" to get longer every day/night cycle.
It may take thousands of day/night cycles but inevitably the slab will finally detach. Most likely late afternoon in autumn when the day/night temp differences are greatest. My photo of the dust cloud is Sept 28 3:39:54 PM. late afternoon.

This mechanism is least likely in winter as the temperature differences are less and change less rapidly. Of course in winter there is expansion of ice behind the slab but that's a different mechanism.

Autumn is everyone's favorite time to be in the Valley, whether tourist or hiker or climber. Cool nights, warm days, minimal chance of precipitation. Fall colors. What could be finer?
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Dec 6, 2017 - 02:55pm PT
We actually do know the thickness of the slab that fell on the second day (September 28); it was an average of about 3 meters thick, tapering to zero at the edges and with a maximum thickness of 8.4 meters in the center.

A three-year study of an exfoliation flake near the Royal Arches yielded results generally consistent with your idea:

https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/upload/Collins-Stock-2016-NatureGeoscience.pdf

Here are a few of the key ideas relating to Yosemite rockfalls:

"Exfoliation of rock deteriorates cliffs through the formation and subsequent opening of fractures, which in turn can lead to potentially hazardous rockfalls. Although a number of mechanisms are known to trigger rockfalls, many rockfalls occur during periods when likely triggers such as precipitation, seismic activity and freezing conditions are absent. It has been suggested that these enigmatic rockfalls may occur due to solar heating of rock surfaces, which can cause outward expansion. Here we use data from 3.5 years of field monitoring of an exfoliating granite cliff in Yosemite National Park in California, USA, to assess the magnitude and temporal pattern of thermally induced rock deformation. From a thermodynamic analysis,we find that daily, seasonal and annual temperature variations are sufficient to drive cyclic and cumulative opening of fractures. Application of fracture theory suggests that these changes can lead to further fracture propagation and the consequent detachment of rock. Our data indicate that the warmest times of the day and year are particularly conducive to triggering rockfalls, and that cyclic thermal forcing may enhance the efficacy of other, more typical rockfall triggers."


"Finally, our results offer a potential explanation for rockfalls that have no recognized trigger despite sometimes detailed observation at the time of failure. These include records of spontaneous summertime rockfalls in Japan, France, Brazil, Switzerland, and Yosemite. In Yosemite, a disproportionate number (15%) of rockfalls with either an identified thermal stress trigger or an unrecognized trigger occur during the hottest summer months (July through September) and at the hottest times of the day (12:00 through 18:00 PST) compared to what would be expected under a random distribution (6%). We suggest that cyclic thermal stresses might be the trigger for these rockfalls and potentially many others around the world, highlighting the role of temperature in eroding steep landscapes."
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
Dec 6, 2017 - 03:09pm PT
Wow, what exciting science, Greg!
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Dec 6, 2017 - 03:22pm PT
3 meters......Holy Crap!!!
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Dec 6, 2017 - 03:27pm PT
Just reiterating what's already been said, but thanks for sharing all this with us Greg. You do a great job making is simple for us non-geology folks to understand, but without losing too many of the important and interesting details or condescending to us.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Dec 6, 2017 - 04:04pm PT
I just knew there was some bigger underlying reason why roofs in Yosemite granite always gave me the willies.
BLUEBLOCR

Social climber
joshua tree
Dec 6, 2017 - 04:27pm PT
Here's a good pic of that second fall



Yeah Thanks for all the great beta Greg! and it was nice to meet you in the meadow.
c wilmot

climber
Dec 6, 2017 - 04:41pm PT
I have always wondered what effect roots/vegetation has on rockfalls.
im kin

Social climber
one step ahead of ruin
Dec 6, 2017 - 04:45pm PT
dude they f*#king grow and that means they take up more volume
and that means they displace any adjacent entity that is of weaker stature.

i could draw some political parallels but let's keep this scientific.
c wilmot

climber
Dec 6, 2017 - 05:14pm PT
Similar things could be said about the role thermal expansion plays in creating rockfalls im kin. Having seen several Yosemite rockfalls mid summer it's a subject I am interested in. Obviously root growth causes displacement. What I was getting at without saying it is that the majority of root growth occurs- mid summer. During the time of said "spontaneous" rockfall

Let's keep this civil...
Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
Dec 6, 2017 - 09:55pm PT
Greg: The photo wasn't from Pete Zed. It was from someone else, of IIRC of the rockfall of September 27th or 28th, from the meadow or such. Somewhere well to the side. All it showed were several quite large rocks that appeared to have been projected horizontally from the cliff, although admittedly perspective can be deceiving. It was posted to Facebook, and I commented about it, and the OP specifically said he had sent it to you.

And, unrelated marvel of marvels, my confuser seems to have learnt Norwegian again. Æ ø Å
TLP

climber
Dec 6, 2017 - 10:37pm PT
What I was getting at without saying it is that the majority of root growth occurs- mid summer.

Not so; and especially not so in the Mediterranean climate (wet in the cold season, dry in the warm season) of California. Roots aren't the culprit in Yosemite rockfalls (or hardly any others, either).

c wilmot

climber
Dec 7, 2017 - 05:52am PT
You are right tLp- nothing grows mid summer in ca. Everyone knows Yosemite turns green during its lush winter. Realy- it's the ideal light cycle the mid winter months provide that really gets vegetation growing.
And thank you for you tireless research proving that no Yosemite rockfall has ever been caused by root growth

Contractor

Boulder climber
CA
Dec 7, 2017 - 06:10am PT
We were just across the wall during both rock slides on "New Dawn". I was cold in my sleeping bag during the predawn hours and shortly after the sun hit the wall I was taking my shirt off. I've never been exposed to such rapid temperature changes.




gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Dec 7, 2017 - 02:26pm PT
According to Yosemite's rockfall database, root wedging accounts for about 7% of documented rockfalls, although there could be some unidentified root-related events hiding within the "unknown" and "unrecognized" categories. Unknown means that no information about environmental conditions exists (usually rockfalls from the late 1800's), and unrecognized means that there were no obvious environmental triggers. Precipitation is the dominant trigger in terms of the number of rockfalls, but not dominant in terms of the volume of rockfalls.

limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Dec 7, 2017 - 03:09pm PT
That's a cool chart, thanks for sharing.

Just curious, how do the categories work that aren't mutually exclusive? "Rain on Snow" and "Precipitation" for example.

Is it sort of primary cause, rather than specific cause? Or maybe most influential cause?

No worries if you're busy, just a passing question from the data analysis dork side of me. I like stats.
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Dec 7, 2017 - 04:42pm PT
We tried to be as specific as possible as to the environmental conditions present at the time of the rockfall. So "rain on snow" is really a subcategory of precipitation, but it contains more specific information, should that prove useful later on.

The thing to remember is that these trigger assignations are based simply on environmental correlations, and are not necessarily causations. Identifying triggers also requires some judgement, and that can get tricky. For example, what to list as the "trigger" when a brief rain barely wets the rock and a rockfall happens (say, from beneath a tree) as the sun comes out an hour later?
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Dec 8, 2017 - 07:43am PT
Hi Greg, Thanks for all your work. I really enjoy learning about the cliffs where I like to hang.

Cool graph! How does lightning cause rockfall?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Feb 28, 2018 - 08:47pm PT
Well, f*ck me, it's good to still be alive!!
Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
Apr 30, 2018 - 10:04pm PT
It will be interesting to see a photo of the rockfall area from the spring, once it dries out, to see what can be seen, also if there's been further rockfall there.
7SacredPools

Trad climber
Ontario, Canada
May 1, 2018 - 07:25am PT
Hey Big Mike. Lightning is hot! It blows up trees by the rapid expansion of the moisture in the wood. I would think the same could apply to rocks...

Interesting graph but what's the difference between "unrecognized" and "unknown?" Does "unrecognized" mean the rockfall could be attributed to one or more of a number of factors?
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
May 1, 2018 - 02:35pm PT
Lightning has been known to explode rocks on summits (and also melt them), so it's reasonable to think that it could trigger rockfalls. It hasn't happened very often in Yosemite though.

We can't measure rockfall triggering directly, so we make inferences based on the environmental conditions present at the time of the rockfall. For example, if a rockfall occurs coincident with an earthquake or an intense rainstorm then assigning a trigger if fairly easy.

"Unknown" means that we have no information on what the environmental conditions were at the time of the rockfall, so we cannot even speculate on a trigger. Most of the rockfalls in the database that have "unknown" triggers happened a long time ago and are based on very cryptic reports.

"Unrecognized" means that even though we do have good information on the environmental conditions at the time of the rockfall, there still isn't an obvious trigger. If a rockfall happens on a clear, mild day with no seismic activity, what is the trigger? We will say that it is "unrecognized", meaning that we really don't know.

As a scientist, "unrecognized" is the most interesting category because there is a lot to learn there.
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Jun 14, 2018 - 09:40am PT
For anyone interested, here is a short (and hopefully readable) paper on our analysis of last year's rockfalls from El Capitan. I find the sequence of rockfalls shown in Figure 2C especially fascinating.

http://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/groundwork/G374GW/GSATG374GW.pdf
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Lassitude 33
Jun 14, 2018 - 10:02am PT
Thank you for posting the link to this very interesting and informative paper.
Climbnrok

Trad climber
LA
Jun 14, 2018 - 04:58pm PT
Anyone have a good photo of the "outward displacement" section?
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
Jun 14, 2018 - 06:05pm PT
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Jun 14, 2018 - 09:54pm PT
hey there say, gstock... wow, neat... thanks for sharing... :)
CAC

Gym climber
Clairemont
Jun 14, 2018 - 10:21pm PT
The last slab to go was 8m thick... yikes!
skywalker1

Trad climber
co
Jun 14, 2018 - 11:54pm PT
Kinda makes me think of the nipple pitch and the white circle...

S...
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 15, 2018 - 02:52am PT
Great work, Greg.
Thanks for sharing!

So important to make an informed decision to reopen the road,
as there is a very real risk of head-on collisions when the road is 2-way.
mcreel

climber
Barcelona
Jun 15, 2018 - 04:11am PT
Wow, the "going for location" folks must have that crack in their sights!
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jun 15, 2018 - 08:33am PT
Fascinating predictive capabilities now on tap, as described in GStock's recent PDF from the previous page:
The sheet is
bounded on three sides by rockfall scars,
and likely displaced during or immediately
after the 22 Oct. 2017 rockfall. This geometry,
combined with a simplified fracture
mechanics analysis, indicates that the sheet
should detach with another 20% of fracturing
along the partially attached side.
Although the 3-D data do not allow us to
predict exactly when this will occur, they
do define the precise location and volume
of this future rockfall.
http://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/groundwork/G374GW/GSATG374GW.pdf

Please excuse my ignorance of the current status, but does this mean the area is indefinitely closed, including walkoff to the West from the top of climbs such as Moratorium?
And approaches to the East Buttress and other routes to the east of the scar?
Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
Aug 8, 2018 - 12:18pm PT
Three Yosemite National Park employees were honored on July 4th by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke at the 73rd Honor Award Convocation Ceremony in Washington, D.C. Park Ranger Jesse McGahey, Park Ranger Philip N. Johnson, and Firefighter/Paramedic Nick Bliss received the Valor Award of the Department of the Interior for heroic actions, courage, and professionalism exhibited in the line of duty.

On September 27, 2017, the park received a 911 call of climbers injured in a catastrophic rockfall event originating from the South side of El Capitan. Due to a high potential of additional rockfall events off of El Capitan, Park Ranger McGahey was inserted to the scene of the injured parties via helicopter short haul and was the first Ranger and Park Medic on scene. One patient had been helped out of the zone of immediate danger from an additional rockfall. Ranger McGahey worked to stabilize and package the patient, who was suffering from life-threatening injuries.

https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/news/yosemite-national-park-employees-receive-department-of-the-interior-valor-award.htm

(Although I'm curious as to why they call it a "rockfall event". By definition, a massive rockfall is an event.)
Mike.

climber
Aug 8, 2018 - 02:14pm PT
TFPU, Anders.

Congratulations to Jesse et al. I know ya didn't do it for the fame, JM, so double props : )
Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
Aug 28, 2018 - 09:15pm PT
Well, on the subject of ranger/climbers being honoured:

You may encounter Valley District Ranger Jack Hoeflich directing traffic, patrolling Yosemite Valley via bicycle, taking ambulance calls, acting as Search and Rescue duty officer, performing a rescue on Half Dome, giving directions to a lost visitor, or mentoring a new ranger. He is a federal law enforcement officer, park medic, structural and wildland firefighter, technical rock rescue instructor, helicopter and swift water rescue technician, horse patroller, and more. In 2007, he received a valor award for a heroic actions while rescuing a gravely injured climber from the face of El Capitan. Other rangers look at him and wonder, “how is he so good at all that stuff?” For all this and more, Jack is the recipient of the 2017 Barry Hance Memorial Award.

The Barry Hance Memorial Award is a peer-nominated award that is named in honor of Barry Hance, a long-time employee of Yosemite National Park who died in an avalanche while plowing the Tioga Road in 1995. Recipients of this prestigious award are employees who exemplify the qualities and attributes of Barry Hance. These include teamwork, a positive attitude, concern for the public and fellow employees, public service, and a deep love for Yosemite National Park.

OK, this may not have anything directly to do with the events last September, but Jack is a great guy, plus helps at the Facelift every year.

https://www.nps.gov/…/park-ranger-jack-hoeflich-receives-pr
Messages 1 - 438 of total 438 in this topic
Return to Forum List
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta