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Ahwahnee Hotel evacuated after Yosemite rockslide

August 26, 2009 |  4:28 pm

**Updated to reflect reopening of the hotel on Friday

*Updated with news about the hotel closure

At least sixty guests at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park had to be evacuated Wednesday afternoon because of a rockslide, one of a series of slides or falls that began in the morning.

Many more guests were outside during the slide that prompted evacuation. The hotel was closed, and following a geologic evaluation of the situation is now scheduled to reopen at 4 p.m. Friday, contingent on no further rockslide activity. Until then, guests are being housed at other lodging facilities.

Park ranger Erik Skindrud said there were no reports of injuries, but one vehicle sustained moderate damage when a large rock smashed through its windshield in the hotel parking lot. Two other vehicles sustained minor damage.

Some rocks were "as large as microwave ovens," Skindrud said. The slide occurred along the south rim of Yosemite Valley in an area known as the Royal Arches.

--Pete Thomas

Photo: A plume of dust rises at Yosemite National Park after Wednesday's rockslide. Credit: Erik Skindrud / National Park Service

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