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Rockfall in Yosemite Valley on July 4th?

Travelling to and visiting Yosemite National Park. How to get there, what to see or do, and other Yosemite trip advice.

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Rockfall in Yosemite Valley on July 4th?

Postby WanderingJim » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:29 pm

Did anyone hear any info on a rockfall in the Valley on July 4th?

I was at the top of Half Dome that morning and heard it. When I looked down to the Valley, there seemed to be a debris cloud coming from around the 4 mile trail.

I hadn't seen any news about it, so I assume no one was injured.

I kind of decided it was my fireworks for the holiday. :)
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Re: Rockfall in Yosemite Valley on July 4th?

Postby Phil » Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:26 pm

It's actually pretty common, but always cool to hear and see. So unless it kills someone or does some serious damage, it doesn't get much press. Did you hear it rupture, or just the roar of the fall and the dust cloud? That whole face below GP- Union Pt is incredibly unstable and ever-changing. Hang out enough in Curry Village or the backpacker's camp and you're bound to see something cut loose.

Makes you look up and move a little faster sometimes, especially when you see a lot of talus the size of houses and cars.
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Re: Rockfall in Yosemite Valley on July 4th?

Postby WanderingJim » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:31 am

Just heard the the roar and fall. It was pretty loud and my first concern was part of Half Dome was breaking off. I backed away from the edge right away.

When I looked around, I saw the dust cloud down in the valley spread away from the 4 mile trail.

I also heard the big rock fall from the face of Half Dome back in July 2015, but from way down at my camp down at the JMT/Half Dome junction. That one I think I heard the rupture first, followed by the thunder. I didn't know what happened until I got back to the Valley and heard what happened. Concidering I climbed the cables on July 6th (days after the rock fall), it's probably best that I didn't know what had happened or I might have been too scared to go up. :)
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Re: Rockfall in Yosemite Valley on July 4th?

Postby Phil » Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:15 am

WanderingJim wrote:I also heard the big rock fall from the face of Half Dome back in July 2015, but from way down at my camp down at the JMT/Half Dome junction. That one I think I heard the rupture first, followed by the thunder. I didn't know what happened until I got back to the Valley and heard what happened


Perfect description! The first time I ever heard the sequence it woke me up and it took a bit for it to register, so my first reaction was that I looked up to see if there were any ominous clouds rolling in that I had missed before turning in for the night
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