WATCH: Hiker Records Massive Rockslide at Rocky Mountain National Park

by Amy Myers
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It’s one thing to hear about a rockslide, but it’s much more intense when you see it first-hand. While exploring near Upper Chaos Canyon in Rocky Mountain National Park, a hiker managed to catch the recent, massive rockfall event that occurred in the area on June 28. In the video, a wash of giant boulders, debris and dust all topple over and spill down the side of the peak. The power of the rockslide is so impressive that, from a distance, it almost looks like an ocean wave crashing on the surf.

Thankfully, the hikers were just far enough away that they weren’t in any imminent danger. However, they were still close enough to catch the bulk of the action.

Take a look.

@weatherchannel Rockslide At Rocky Mountain National Park Forces Closures. #Colorado #RockyMountainNationalPark#rockfall#NationalPark#hiking#rockslide#video#news ♬ original sound – The Weather Channel

Rocky Mountain National Park posted its own memo of the rockfall event. In it, officials pinpointed the exact location on the south side of Hallett Peak.

Officials suspect that the rockslide occurred as a result of recent precipitation, causing the ground along the mountainside to become soft. Rangers warned future visitors that the area will still be unstable. This is especially true as there is more expected rainfall within the next few days.

So far, the park has yet to hear about any injuries as a result of the rockslide. Upper Chaos Canyon is a popular spot for bouldering. Fortunately, though, Rocky Mountain National Park has plenty other prime climbing locations as alternatives to the region.

Rocky Mountain National Park Closes Upper Chaos Canyon

Shortly after the initial rockslide, Rocky Mountain National Park issued more than just a warning. Instead, officials decided to close the area altogether to prevent any accidents.

“All areas in Chaos Canyon to the west of Lake Haiyaha are closed in Rocky Mountain National Park to all users due to significant rockfall activity and continuing potential impacts from forecasted precipitation,” the park announced on Thursday. “This closure will remain in effect until the projected rainstorms pass and the slope can be evaluated by NPS geologists. The hiking trail to Lake Haiyaha, Lake Haiyaha itself, and hiking trails on the north side of Hallett Peak remain open. The bouldering area in lower Chaos Canyon, on the north and east shore of the Lake Haiyaha, will remain open.”

Hikers and climbers that plan on exploring around the closed region of the park should exercise caution. This is because other areas may exhibit the same fragility as Hallett Peak. While the park will continue to provide crucial updates on the state of the terrain, it is ultimately explorers’ responsibility to manage their own safety.

“Recreation users should know their own limits and choose routes that are within the abilities of everyone in their party,” the park concluded.

Outsider.com