Yosemite National Park, California, has temporarily closed a renowned rock climbing area due to the emergence of a significant crack in a massive granite cliff, disrupting outdoor enthusiasts’ plans.
Climbers recently alerted authorities to the presence of the new crack on the western side of the Royal Arches formation, situated near a popular climbing route known as the ‘Super Slide,’ as reported on the park’s official website.
A subsequent investigation conducted by park officials revealed that this crack had partially separated a substantial rock pillar and was actively expanding.
On August 30, a designated area encompassing several climbing routes was promptly closed to ensure the safety of climbers and hikers. Additionally, a brief segment of the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail has been temporarily shut down, with an alternative detour in place to accommodate visitors.
Yosemite National Park frequently experiences rockfalls due to natural processes, a phenomenon recognized by the National Park Service. The distinctive arcs visible across the cliff face, from which the Royal Arches formation derives its name, result from a weathering process known as exfoliation, causing granite slabs to gradually detach. Other renowned Yosemite landmarks, such as Half Dome, have similarly formed through this geological process.
Yosemite National Park continues to attract a multitude of tourists and climbing enthusiasts to California, offering picturesque hikes amid its pine forests and breathtaking vistas of the Sierra Nevada mountain range’s towering granite summits.
The park’s captivating natural beauty has also been prominently featured in recent documentaries, showcasing the extraordinary achievements of master rock climbers. Films such as “Free Solo,” featuring climber Alex Honnold, and “The Dawn Wall,” chronicling record-setting endeavors by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgenson, have captured the scenic allure of Yosemite’s valleys and mountains, establishing the region as a unique and captivating arena for both mountaineers and spectators alike.