Newly Formed Crack On Yosemite's Royal Arches Forces Multiple Climbing Closures

Yosemite National Park officials were forced to close an area surrounding the park’s famous Royal Arches following the development of a new crack on the western side of the formations. Rock climbers reported the new development in late August and further investigation revealed that a large pillar of rock had become partially detached. The 200-foot splinter was still growing when Yosemite announced the closure.

Closures include all routes between Peruvian Flake West to the Rhombus Wall, including the famous Serenity Crack (5.10d)/Sons of Yesterday (5.10-) and Super Slide (5.9). Park geologist Greg Stock climbed Super Slide in order to observe the new crack, noting continuous creaking noises if walking on thin ice and several pieces of rock falling out of the splinter.

Reports state that the crack had expanded over an inch in a week following its first discovery. The park is yet to release any information relating to a reopening.

Recent assessment of the new splitter by Park Geologist Greg Stock revealed “active cracking (similar to walking on thin ice), as well as rock chips rattling through the upper crack and falling out the lower crack.”” – Climbing Stewards

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Featured Image Credit: James St. John, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons