Rockfall on Half Dome in Yosemite
Video of rockfall off Half Dome, Yosemite, USA, which took place on 27/05/2011 and thankfully injured no one.
After last autumn's rockfall on El Capitan in Yosemite this time it's nearby Half Dome which in just a few seconds shed thousands of years of weight. According to reports, blocks fell on 27 May from the rim of Half Dome - somewhere around the overhanging bands of rock known as the Visor - straight down into the aptly named Death Slabs approach. Thankfully no one was injured, but the scramble is used by most climbers to approach the routes such as the classic Regular Northwest Face.
Bryce Breslin, an American climber who witnessed the rockfall and whose video is posted below, stated: "Most climbers use the Death Slabs approach because it's much quicker and less brutal than the alternative. A competent party can reach the base of the NW face in about 90 minutes using the death slabs. The alternative is to take the standard hikers' trail, which starts at Happy Isles, goes up the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail. This is about 8.5 miles, and a beast! Lots of switchbacks and arduous plodding. I've done both and the slabs are much friendlier, but I won't do them again. Seeing how those blocks funnelled perfectly into the ravine that makes up the slabs approach proper convinced me that the longer approach isn't really that bad."
Half Dome rock fall, 27/05/2011, Yosemite Valley