Monday, February 7, 2011

Frazil Ice Planned for April

The NPS/YC Yosemite Nature Notes video on frazil ice has gotten remarkable viral traction on-line. We've received lots of messages lately about where/when people can see the stuff. As it says in the film, April is the best month for observing the ice flow in progress, but you have to either be lucky with timing, or come stay for the whole month so that you can go out before 8 every morning to see if it's there. If the night's temperature is well below freezing, you should see it. It doesn't generally happen in mid-winter because the water volume in the falls is too low to generate enough mist to form a lot of ice. (Though the conditions were right this year to form frazil in Bridalveil Creek in late December.) There's a decent likelihood that April visitors will at least see the remnant deposits of ice, which just look like snow lining the creek banks.
An earthquake near 1 a.m. Sunday morning was noted by some park locals, who heard it as much as felt it. It was a 2.2 magnitude, centered 14 km beneath the headwaters of the South Fork Merced River. The Clark Range has had a light series of small, deep quakes like this one over the past five years; this fits in with that movement under the batholith.
In more earth news, the Yosemite Conservancy has an Outdoor Adventure course February 18-19 seeking to photograph the elusive (almost mythical) 'firefall' effect that happens in Yosemite Valley for a couple weeks each year. Pro photographer John Senser has captured this transient phenomenon many times over the years and will be your best guide to find this glorious spectacle. Call Carolyn to sign up: 209/379-2646, extension 10.

1 comment:

  1. my husband was fortunate to catch the natural firefall in 2002 - fantastic photos of which holly - who works for the conservancy - received from us. don't know if she kept them at the office or took them home. what i miss most about living in copperopolis was how close we were to yosemite. frazil ice is something i haven't seen except for steve's video. i envy you your locale pete.