Whenever I'm slogging up a talus field en route to a Sierra peak, sinking through trap doors of rubble and shuffling bowling balls of granite violently downhill, I'm awestruck by the geological destruction of such a quiet lonely landscape. I imagine the summit blocks and gendarmes that stood on these once monolithic mountains, smashed and shattered by thousands of years of infinitesimal flux.
Some areas of the Sierra Nevada are so old they're shrouded in black volcanic scree fields of obliterated peaks that once covered the pristine white granite made famous by Yosemite Valley, which is still vaulting skyward on tectonic plates. The mountains are a theater of cataclysm and beauty.
According to the Parks Service, Yosemite National Park was host to a live showing of that geological drama when 16,000 tons of granite calved off a cliff from five hundred feet, breaking into smaller boulders and covering 400 feet of Rancheria Falls Trail as the apron of debris tumbled into the reservoir below. The event occurred around 1:25pm on March, 31 and the only loss of life was a number of crushed trees. Truly fascinating to witness how our epic landscapes are shaped and ever changing.