Well, it happened. Despite signs and multiple warnings, on Saturday, a man slipped into the Merced River about 200 yards above 300 ft Vernal Fall. He was in the Silver Apron area and plunked down into the water. No swimming signs abound there. The Emerald Pool is a small “pond” sized body of moving water. It was named by Emily Snow in 1870 because of its turquoise water. It looks inviting, but occasionally a swimmer goes in and can’t get out. The sides are steep and slick. The Merced is fed by snow melt and its temperature can be in the 40 degree range. This will cause hypothermia in a short time.
After the tragic 2011 high water year, the NPS removed “Emerald Pool” from the mileage marker sign at the start of the Happy Isles trail. They didn’t want people to go near it by deemphasizing its location.
The unnamed 19-year old from Camarillo, CA (Southern California) was later rescued by a Marin County Search and Rescue Team and NPS staff and was sent to a local hospital with head and eye injuries
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Keep Out” sign apply to you.” – A wise old man
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com