View Full Version : Rock slab at Timpanogos prompts plan for new exit

12-05-2009, 08:03 AM


Rock slab at Timpanogos prompts plan for new exit
December 4th, 2009 @ 7:48pm
AMERICAN FORK, Utah (AP) -- Managers of Timpanogos Cave in Utah County are seeking public comment on a plan to create a new exit for safety reasons.

Cave Superintendent Denis Davis says a scientist working on a shelter for the cave exit noticed a large rock slab that could fall near the exit, putting visitors and employees in danger.

In light of that discovery, an explosives expert suggested both blasting off the rock slab and moving the trail into a position that would be safer from other falling rocks.

Cave Resource Manager Cami Pulham says a new stairway would be placed at the exit of the cave and descend along the cliff face. A current exit roof would be extended to cover the stairway, which would then meet up with the present trail below.

Cave managers are taking comment on the plan through Dec. 21. Construction would begin next spring or early summer.


Information from: The Daily Herald

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Sun Dance
12-14-2009, 11:45 PM
The timing on this story was very suspect. I'm not sure if they did it to get attention off Nutty Putty, but it was really a dumb story. To paraphrase one of the comments on the board for that story, "rocks could fall down the mountain? Really?"

12-15-2009, 06:01 AM
The timing on this story was very suspect. I'm not sure if they did it to get attention off Nutty Putty, but it was really a dumb story.

I am pretty sure that I read about this before the Nutty Putty incident.

05-06-2010, 06:33 PM


Crews blast rock at Timpanogos Cave
April 20th, 2010 @ 6:21pm
By John Hollenhorst

UTAH COUNTY -- A rock slide tumbled down a mountainside Tuesday afternoon in American Fork Canyon -- but this was no accident. It was triggered on purpose with high explosives, for safety reasons.
It was quite a blast. The National Park Service set it off to protect 80,000 visitors a year who go up the canyon to visit Timpanogos Cave (http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=10456869). No one knows how long a big hazard has been there, hanging over their heads.
The hazard? A huge rock on the face of a limestone cliff.
"It's about 30 feet long, 2 feet thick, 4 feet wide. It's a pretty big piece of rock," said Karissa DeCarlo with the National Park Service.
A team of climbers went up the cliff with ropes and high explosives. Their mission was to alter nature, just a little bit.
http://www.ksl.com/emedia/slc/1961/196126/19612642.jpg?filter=ksl/img200 (http://www.ksl.com/emedia/slc/1961/196126/19612642.jpg)
"I got to tell you, this is a last resort thing in the National Park Service," DeCarlo said.
The rock potentially threatened a shelter that hundreds of visitors file through daily as they exit from the popular Timpanogos Cave. Further below there's also a power line. And far below, a sometimes busy highway.
Late last year, a rock-fall expert discovered that the rock is separating from the cliff by a 4-inch crack. No one knows if the crack is new or has been there for millennia.
"Once we know about an issue like this, it is in our best interest to mitigate that, basically take care of the problem for the safety of visitors," DeCarlo said.
The fiery blast surrounded the rock and tore it apart, converting the big rock into a shower of little rocks. An avalanche of debris thundered down the mountain, but the visitor shelter remained intact and the debris never reached the highway.
"The power lines wiggled quite a bit but didn't fall, and a great boom," DeCarlo said. "So I'm thinking we're going to call this good at this point."
Now that the rock is out of the way, the Park Service plans to build a new exit shelter and to re-route the trailhead.
Also, there's still a lot of snow up there, so the cave is still closed for winter. It opens for visitors on May 8.
E-mail: hollenhorst@ksl.com