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Rockfall on Yosemite’s Half Dome Alters Climbing Route

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When you’re climbing up Yosemite’s Half Dome, one of the most well-known rock climbing walls in the world, you don’t expect to get halfway up and find part of the rock face missing. 

That’s what happened to a group climbing the famed route on July 5 when they reached a section that was just impassable.

The climbers could see the anchor holds up above, but a ledge roughly 200 feet wide with multiple elements was simply missing. A large dark spot existed in its place and a debris field at the bottom looked ominous. Luckily nobody was climbing at the time as the rock fall likely took place during the night last week.

Details of the discovery were posted to the climbing message board Supertopo.com. Climbers speculated that new anchor points would have to be constructed, which would require a bit of untethered free or aid climbing.

There are several other routes open to climbers at Half Dome and the rock fall does not affect the cabled route taken by many visitors. The rock-fall occurred on the northwest route, conquered only by the most experience climbers, while most tackle the east side.

Greg Stock, a park geologist, told the Associated Press that officials were looking into how best to create a new route. 

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