Local News

Grandfather Mountain rock slide dynamited

Posted March 20, 2010 11:30 a.m. EDT

— Crews used to dynamite to clear a rock slide on a road in the Grandfather Mountain nature preserve Friday.

Austin Powder Company blasted large boulders with dynamite three times, according to a news release from the park. After each blast, loose rocks were removed with a track hoe.

Enough debris was removed to open the park to visitors 2:30 p.m. Friday.

More dynamite blasting is scheduled for Monday morning.

Large slabs of rock slid down and covered the main road on the lower half of Grandfather Mountain, between Split Rock and Sphinx Rock, late Wednesday. Heavy equipment was used to remove smaller debris Thursday.

Geologists at Appalachian State University in Boone believe that a rough winter caused the rock slide. Ice likely formed in cracks of the rock, loosening it. When warmer temperatures and heavy rain melted the ice, the conditions were set for a slide.