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Map: Sudden crack in Yosemite Valley rock face causes trail and climbing closure

Map: Sudden crack in Yosemite Valley rock face causes trail and climbing closure

A crack that suddenly appeared in a rock face in Yosemite Valley has prompted the closure of a trail near the Ahwahnee hotel as well as of some popular climbing routes.

An announcement Thursday by park officials said the new crack had “partially detached a large pillar of rock, and that cracking was actively occurring,” raising fears of rockfall.

The temporary closure covers part of the Valley Loop Trail and all climbing routes from Peruvian Flake to Rhombus Wall, including the popular Super Slide, Serenity Crack and Sons of Yesterday. No estimated date was given for lifting of the restriction.

The opening of the 200-foot crack delighted climbers; the first to complete the new route named it Super Natural and determined the difficulty grade to be 5.10, according to the climbing magazine Gripped. But a park geologist observed falling rock chips and creaking noises, and he said the crack had widened considerably in just a week.