More falling rocks at Curry

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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This from Park Sources (Will all visitors be issued hard hats when checking  into Curry?)

At approximately 3:40 a.m. on July 1, 2011, numerous visitors and employees in eastern Yosemite Valley heard a sharp cracking sound, followed by 20-30 seconds of rumbling – the unmistakable sound of a rockfall.

Subsequent investigation revealed the source of the rockfall to be from the upper west (upper right when viewed from Stoneman Meadow) portion of the scar left by the October 8, 2008 rockfall. The rockfall consisted of a rectangular block approximately 10 m (33 feet) tall, 2.5 m (8 feet) wide, and 1 m (3 feet) thick, for a total volume of about 25 cubic meters; this translates to a weight of about 75 tons. The block free-fell for about 200 m (660 feet) and landed on the prominent ledge above Curry Village along which the old Ledge Trail traversed. Rock debris continued down this ledge, but stopped on the talus slope behind Curry Village. There were no reports of injuries or structural damage associated with this event.

A specific triggering mechanism for this rockfall is not known, but the failed block was very likely destabilized by the October 8, 2008 rockfall. Be aware that rockfall areas can continue to be active for weeks, months, and even years after a major rockfall event. 


Unrelated thought worth quoting: Have you ever been to Electric Ladyland? The magic carpet waits for you so don’t you be late” – Jimi Hendrix 

*MrHalfDome ™  – Rick Deutsch –


4 Responses to “More falling rocks at Curry”

  1. Dean Says:

    I wonder about rockfalls at Liberty Cap.
    I must admit to feeling a bit uneasy walking up that part of the trail with that huge chunk of rock looming above.
    The trail winds through debris but I’m wondering if that’s some kind of erosion between Libert Cap and the cliff at Nevada Falls or if it’s rock that has dropped off Liberty Cap?

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      The “upper” mist trail between Liberty Cap and Nevada Fall was originally a horse trail “Zig Zags” that continually suffered rockslides. It was almost abandoned when the Rock Cut (Panorama Trail area) was built. So you have a very good point,. Wear a helmet.

  2. Moraga Mike Says:

    Thanks for the post. We were in Curry Village when this occurred. By my watch it was at 2:58AM. Had we felt the ground shake, or heard trees snapping, we would have all run for it.

    The sound was awesome by the true definition of the word.

  3. Tom Says:

    We heard it at 2:58 am as well. Awesome!

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