Fortunately Nobody Injured In Massive Rockfall @ Yosemite

Fortunately Nobody Injured In Massive Rockfall @ Yosemite

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Fortunately Nobody Injured In Massive Rockfall @ Yosemite

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RockfallIn this photo supplied by Yosemite National Park, dust rises from a rockfall that destroyed part of the Rancheria Falls Trail and forced it to be closed.

About 16,000 tons of rock crashed from a cliff and onto a hiking trail in Yosemite National Park last week.

Fortunately nobody was injured in a massive rockfall of 16,000 tons of rock and earth at Yosemite National Park. The 500-foot rockfall occurred near Hetch Hetchy Reservoir when a massive rock broke loss smashed trees and kicked up a dust cloud as it smashed into the ground, breaking up into sizable boulders. 

More on the rockfall from National Parks Service: A rockfall in the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite National Park closes trail east of Wapama Falls. At approximately 1:30 p.m. on March 31, a large rockfall occurred from the cliff just east of Wapama Falls above the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. No visitors were injured. However, the trail was closed just east of the Wapama Creek footbridges for safety purposes, and due to boulders preventing access beyond Wapama Falls.

IMG_3264Talus left by recent rockfall. One of the Wapama Falls bridges is visible in the background (far left). 

Roughly 16,000 tons (5,500 cubic meters) of rock fell from a source about 500 feet (150 meters) above the base of the cliff. Rock debris hit the slope below the cliff, breaking into numerous boulders, crushing trees, and creating a small dust cloud. Fresh boulders completely covered the slope, and many boulders tumbled into the reservoir. Roughly 400 feet (120 meters) of the Rancheria Falls Trail were destroyed in the main impact area.

Hikers can still access Wapama Falls starting from the O’Shaughnessy Dam. The trail to Rancheria Falls just after Wapama Falls will be closed until further notice. The park is working to reopen the trail at a later date.

 

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