Ahwiyah Point rockfall


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Social climber
Apr 8, 2009 - 06:37pm PT

Thanks for the route info. It looks like most of the route is still intact...I wonder when it will see its next ascent? Hahaha...hopefully not for a few decades at least! On the other hand folks, still climb the Good Book all the time, but it was popular before the middle brother rockfall.

In other news, Werner and I had a long talk this morning about the merits of "Death Slabs" vs. simply the "slabs approach to Half Dome." Neither seemed to adequately fit the place. So we decided to rename it, "The Approach Slabs that may cause death or serious injury." I am now writing to our official records keeper to notify him of the change. After processing we should have a new designation in a couple years...as long as no one sues us over it.

J. McGahey
Sean Jones

Apr 8, 2009 - 06:50pm PT
Glad no one was hurt. Aside from that, I love when these huge rockfalls go down. Just like the rest of life. Even when things seem solid. It's only temporary. Another reminder to be glad for what you have while you have it. Anything can change in a split second.

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 8, 2009 - 06:56pm PT

I think you meant:

> On the other hand folks still climb the Good Book all the time, but it was popular before middle brother rockfall.

But I think there were separate rockfalls, earlier affecting Koko Ledge and the left side of Rixon's, then more recently affecting the Good Book. (Although I think there were also earlier ones in the vicinity of the Good Book).

I suppose the Slabs Approach naming became controversial, because it was not in a guidebook, so people used what ever name they heard most recently. I have also heard it called the Mirror Lake Approach. The 1987 guidebook says "A quicker, more direct, yet very devious approach can be made from the vicinity of Mirror Lake." (no mention of the word "slabs" in the description).

The 1982 guidebook mentions "death slabs" in a description of the North Dome gully descent, p.126.
scuffy b

Frigate Matilda
Apr 8, 2009 - 07:02pm PT
The Mirror Lake area related approach slabs which may cause
death, serious injury or even MUCH THIRST if things go less
than perfectly.

Some minor tweaking could improve the acronym potential, I'm

I'll go sit in the car now.

Social climber
Apr 8, 2009 - 07:38pm PT
Thanks Clint. Now edited. I'm glad you knew what I was talking about. Being from North Carolina I still mix up the names of our classic 5.11, The Open Book in Linville Gorge, and the Good Book, AKA the Right Side of the Folly.


Boulder climber
the greasewood ghetto
Apr 9, 2009 - 03:27am PT
On the Gigapan image you can see a water-course both on the wall and in the new talus that flows past the right side of the rockfall . That thing (freezing/expanding) may have been the trigger .

Trad climber
Apr 9, 2009 - 11:58am PT
Excellent gigapan picture of the rockfall.

Ed Bannister

Mountain climber
Riverside, CA
Apr 16, 2009 - 06:03pm PT
i love the smell of ozone in the morning

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Apr 16, 2009 - 06:36pm PT
Those gigapan's are so awesome. Amazing.

Trad climber
San Diego
Apr 27, 2009 - 03:12pm PT
Just ran across this article:

Social climber
Berkeley, CA
Apr 27, 2009 - 07:04pm PT

The article originated at the Fresno Bee:

(thank you to everyone who has helped along the way, including other Supertopians who came to the field and those who've been reporting rockfalls right here)
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 28, 2009 - 12:52am PT
I'll try to post the photos I took of Ahwiyah Point and the deposition area from Snow Creek trail last Wednesday, tomorrow.

Boulder climber
Apr 28, 2009 - 01:43am PT
this mite be a tripout, Elephant Rock:

"of two rockfalls, totaling nearly 50,000 m3, that took place in 1971 and the winter of 1980/1981 (Wieczorek et al., 1992). According to second-hand accounts, live trout were scooped off the road surface after the river splashed onto the highway."
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 28, 2009 - 10:24am PT
here is a photo i just took from the top of el cap that shows the rockfall pretty well


Trad climber
San Diego
Apr 28, 2009 - 12:00pm PT
How did you get to the top of El Cap?
Any good stories/routes?
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Apr 29, 2009 - 12:20pm PT
Here are some photos of the rockfall and area, from the Snow Creek trail. Taken Wednesday 22nd April. The first rockfall was 28th March, and Werner told me there was another one on 18th or 19th April. They even had to rescue some tourists from the closed area. I went up the trail to the bridge (about 2,000 m) for some exercise, to see some natural wonders, and maybe if I got lucky to got some pictures of further rockfall.

(Bump, for Jesse and Greg.)

Social climber
Berkeley, CA
May 5, 2009 - 12:52pm PT
I thought I'd share my (new) webpage here, in case any of you are interested in learning more.


Aug 2, 2010 - 09:25pm PT

The new Sentinel Dome cam shows the rockfall location pretty well now .

Trad climber
Ford Pickup Truck, North America
Aug 2, 2010 - 09:36pm PT
I hiked across the rockfall fairly recently, and it is true, the wood is fragrant. It is pretty impressive.

I wonder why it is still closed... it seems to me that the area shouldn't be any more dangerous now than it was before the closure.

is there some evidence to suggest it is any more dangerous than any other trail near a wall of the valley? Is it closed just because the trail hasn't been rebuilt? Waiting for the talus to stabalize?


Trad climber
Clovis, CA
Aug 2, 2010 - 09:51pm PT
On July 25th, we were walking across the meadow across from Curry Village. We thought we heard thunder as there was earlier that day when we were rapping off the Royal Arches. After we crossed the road headed to Curry Village, we saw a huge dust cloud in front of Half Dome. Don't know if it was in the same previous areas.
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