South Apron Closed: Rock Fall Hazard - until further notice

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South Apron Closed: Rock Fall Hazard - until further notice

Postby squamish climber » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:35 am

Image

Rock fall danger!!
BC Parks has closed (July 4th) access to the Lower Apron for climbs accessing the South Apron (except Slab Alley trail) and eg Diedre, Over the Rainbow, Sparrow, Sickle, Banana Peel, White Lightening, until they deal with this block.

Park Rangers have put signs warning climbers at the base of the Apron that the access trail and climbs are closed.

Thanks to Crosby at Altus Mountainguides for posting the photo See more and Kyle for first posting about this and warning climbers.

stay tuned for updates.
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Re: South Apron Closed: Rock Fall Hazard - until further not

Postby squamish climber » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:35 am

Here is a photo of the Apron. I put in the approximate location of the rockfall hazard as best as I can determine "where Over the Rainbow meets Sickle on OTR's 3rd pitch". Let me know if I have it wrong.
Image
original photo: Squamish Select by Marc Bourdon with permission

Photo of the Apron
Image
Photo: Squamish Select by Marc Bourdon with permission
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Re: South Apron Closed: Rock Fall Hazard - until further not

Postby squamish climber » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:02 am

Here is an update from asc over on the other thread

I've heard the Apron is closed (or going to be closed) from Diedre to Over the Rainbow. Climbing across these lines to reach the southern routes is not recommended nor is climbing on the Lower Apron.

Parks has contacted a geologist to assess the rock fall and, if required, a local company to clear the debris and scale to remove further hazard. It sounds like the goal is to have this done by tomorrow night.

Lets try to stay out of the area for the next two days so as to not prolong closures. It is possible that fixed lines may be set up along the Broadway Ledge descent, please respect the equipment and workers up there.
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Re: South Apron Closed: Rock Fall Hazard - until further not

Postby duffs » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:06 am

Glad to see this is closed off now. We were up Over The Rainbow early yesterday morning. Climbed this route so many times in the past that I was just happily padding along without really scanning ahead. I didn't even look up until I had slung the tree and was face to face with the business end of the perched block. Most of those little blades underneath seem to be holding on with nothing more than friction. I moved off to the right to avoid disturbing this mess... felt like I was trying to sneak past a sleeping attack dog. Our best guess was that the block is from the large tree ledge above, as thereare signs of damage above this mess as well. Depending on how the block might roll, I could easily see it striking anything along the starting ledge at the base. With a certain bounce, I wouldn't be surprised if it would roll right down the path that comes up from Brambles!
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Re: South Apron Closed: Rock Fall Hazard - until further not

Postby Anders Ourom » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:16 am

Hopefully the news will get out quickly, especially with southern visitors for the 4th July weekend. It's amazing that that little tree stopped the block shown. Trundling the block shouldn't be a problem, once the situation is assessed and the area cleared of vehicles, climbers and pedestrians. Stabilizing the area it came from, and removing any other hazards, may be a bigger issue.

The photo is from toward the end of the second pitches of Sickle and OTR, where they intersect, although the rock came from somewhere above.

We did OTR etc just over two weeks ago, and didn't see anything. There was a large rockfall from below the second roof on Sickle in the mid-1960s - the roof that comes across from Diedre. There are (were?) still some flakes below the second roof (near its right end), as well as some perched blocks on the ledge at the end of the pitch. One quite large.

Well, Slab Alley and Pineapple Peel offer alternatives, plus one can get to Banana Peel and A Troll's Sonnet via the Slab Alley trail and starts. Although there is a big perched block to the left of the elephant steps on Slab Alley...
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Re: South Apron Closed: Rock Fall Hazard - until further not

Postby Tricouni » Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:50 pm

This sort of thing is always going to be a problem on the Apron. You can see the outward-sloping joints (fractures) in the photo in the O.P. The big rockfall on Sickle in the 1960s was a result of failure of one of those joints: the block was then unsupported and off it came.

The current killer block looks to be small and not necessarily related to this problem, but the potential exists for huge rockfall on the Apron. If anyone sees any motion or enlargement of cracks on the Apron, it would be worth letting SAS know so that they can monitor the situation. I'm not trying to scare anyone, just pointing out the obvious.

Many years ago, similar jointing on the large roadcuts near Porteau failed, and a huge block came off and crushed a car and 4 people.
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