YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — A popular rock climbing area in Yosemite National Park has been closed due to a crack that developed in a huge granite cliff.
Climbers recently reported the new crack on the west side of the Royal Arches formation, near a climbing route called Super Slide, according to the park’s website.
“Further investigation revealed that this crack had partially detached a large rock pillar and cracking was actively occurring,” the website said.
An area with several climbing routes was closed on August 30. A short section of the Yosemite Valley Loop Trail was also closed, with a detour established.
Yosemite experiences many rockfalls each year caused by natural processes, according to the National Park Service.
The arches across the cliff that gave Royal Arches its name are caused by a type of weathering called exfoliation which causes slabs of granite to fall. Other famous Yosemite landforms, such as Half Dome, were also created through this process.