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Re: Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top

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Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top
February 13, 2009 09:22PM
I have a question which hopefully somebody can shed some light on. I was interested in hiking to the top of Bridalveil Falls (probably cross country from either the Glacier Pt Rd or one of the trails in the area). Is this even possible and is there any kind of overlook worth checking out? Would it be safe?
avatar Re: Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top
February 13, 2009 11:04PM
Nothing unless you like going off trail, are an experienced rock climber, and aren't bothered by severe risk to life and limb.

My National Geographic Trails Illustrated map shows no maintained trails within a mile of the top of Bridalveil Falls. Dewey Point may be about as close as it gets. The topography of Bridalveil Creek above the Fall seems to be of steep canyons on either side between Leaning Tower and Cathedral Rocks.

As far as I can tell you can take Glacier Point Road to just before Bridalveil Creek Campground. A trail goes through McGurk Meadows and a little bit east to a footbridge over Bridalveil Creek. I can't vouch for how safe it is to walk this way or what the risk of falling over the Falls is. The topography seems like this is risky. I'm guessing if it were safe that there would have been maintained trails.

avatar Re: Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top
February 14, 2009 02:11AM
y_p_w wrote:

> Nothing unless you like going off trail, are an experienced
> rock climber, and aren't bothered by severe risk to life and
> limb.

It's cross country but I've never heard of the hike being all that dangerous.

avatar Re: Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top
February 14, 2009 06:50AM
I've looked at this many many times...
It's on my list of things to do.

Check out the gunsite too when you are there.

This should be easier than your Illiouette hike...

I'd recommend going in the fall when it is a whisp and you can
cross the creek or walk in the creek as you wish.

The most direct route from my recollection is xcountry all the way
from Badger Pass area.
Re: Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top
February 14, 2009 09:57AM
Thanks so much for the information. This hike has always intrigued me and I think I will check it out, but keep a safe distance and wait until the water flow is lower in the creek.
Re: Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top
February 14, 2009 10:02PM
Reminds me of a story in 'Death in Yosemite'. As close as I remember, someone died up there along Bridalveil creek, and the rescuers either intentionally or accidentally dropped the body bag in the creek, but reasoned it was easier than carrying him (go with the flow??). When it got to the falls, they wanted to lower it down, but it somehow got stuck...I think the bag was ripped off, so was just hanging there for folks to view. 8^)

"Oh look, what's that bouncing around at the top of the falls?"

Guess I'd better look it up and correct this if it's too far off, but I think it's close.



Post Edited (02-14-09 22:26)



Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top
February 15, 2009 08:01AM
Yeah, the rope drowning has been in a couple of books.
That's why I stated to please just go when the water is down.
Plus, there is alot of Manzanita so it will probably be nice to
actually walk right in the river at times.

Check it out on Google Earth...
And post pictures if you do it before I get there too...

It's about 4 miles and 2500 ft. to the edge from Summit Meadow.
I'd do it as a 2 day trip to give enough time to relax and explore some
and check out the gunsite.
Still think it would be easier than your Ill. Fall trip even with the extra 1K ft.



Post Edited (02-15-09 08:15)



Everything I know I learned from Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top
February 15, 2009 10:35AM
Does anybody know exactly how this person died? What happened to them? I've never heard of this before.
avatar Re: Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top
February 15, 2009 10:53AM
<<Does anybody know exactly how this person died? What happened to them? I've never heard of this before.>>

Got the book "Death in Yosemite" sitting here on my desk (unfinished). Looked up the drowning in the creek, and what it says here is that one guy tried to haul in the other guy who had fallen into the creek with a rope, but, the swift current caused hydroplaning and the guy(in creek) dove like a sub and drowned (if we are talking about the same incident) The rangers actually PLANNED to lower the body over the falls...but...easier said than done. The body bag filled with water, sunk the the load, and the drag caused an acceleration that sped planning up too much. At the falls, Once lowered, the bag/contents got hung up on a ledge and had to stay put for two days (a storm had blown in during the recovery) with the bag partially torn. It was eventually recovered.

B



Post Edited (02-15-09 10:57)



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
Re: Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top
June 13, 2011 09:31AM
kinda been researching this hike. anyone done this in the last couple years that could share any info or possible the most manageble/easiest route nowadays. any info would be great.
avatar Re: Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top
June 13, 2011 11:31AM
Re: Bridalveil Falls- reaching the top
February 15, 2009 11:03AM
I looked it up after I wrote the above, to be sure I wasn't way off.

Two climbers had climbed the leaning Tower (near Bridalveil) and bivouaced overnight at the top near the creek. They needed to cross the raging creek, and reasoned that one could be roped to the one on shore, and if there was a problem, they could just pull him to shore. The current was so strong that it pushed him under, and the guy on shore was unable to get him back or out of the icy water; by the time the current pushed him over to an eddy, it was too late.

Rangers went up to get the body, and helicopters were busy with fires, so they'd have had to carry over some rough terrain, and reasoned the easy way was to float him down the river and lower him over the falls. Unfortunately, the body bag filled with water and became a several-hundred pound sea anchor, so they had a horrible time managing it, several of them almost getting hurt or pulled in to the creek, but did get him to the top of the falls.

They began the lowering, but there was a ledge that they didn't know about, which hung him up, and repeated raising and lowering wasn't working, in fact the feet began hanging out of the damaged bag (the ranger below let them know). Then, to top it off, a lightning storm came in and sent them all scurrying for safety.

So for a couple of days, the body with at least feet hanging out, hung part way down the falls, until the storm cleared and they could get him down.





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
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