Rockfall is a serious hazard to rock climbing. On April 3rd and the 4th, a serious amount of rock fell at Yosemite's Churchbowl climbing area. The granite fell from an area above Bishop's Terrace and hit the second pitch of the climb, the short section that climbs to Bishop's Balcony. The rappel for the route was also hit. A large amount of debris fell to the west of the base of Bishop's Terrace.
Greg Stock, a Yosemite National Park geologist, commented about the hazard. "Although I'm not able to predict future behavior, I have seen cleaner source areas than this one. Future rockfalls are possible."
In response to Stock's investigation and seeing the rockfall himself, Yosemite climbing ranger Jesse Mcgahey issued a temporary closure. "Although there is always a possibility of rock fall on Yosemite's crags, domes, and walls. We feel there is an elevated level of risk for rock fall over Bishop's Terrace over the next week or so. Therefore we have temporarily closed all routes at Church Bowl East of, but not icluding, "Church Bowl Tree"."
Though the closure is only temporary, it is est to stay away from areas where there is potential rockfall. Climbing in areas where such hazards exists can be very dangerous.
Further information can be found at the Supertopo website.
Tags: Yosemite Rockfall, Churchbowl rock fall
Past blog entries can be found at http://touchstoneclimbing.blogspot.com/