Rock climber falls in Yosemite Park in third incident in one week

At least one man is dead following a dramatic series of rockslides at Yosemite's iconic El Capitan on Wednesday.

"We did re-route the roads in-and-out of Yosemite Valley yesterday afternoon because a little bit of rock were on the road", Scott Gediman, assistant superintendent for public and legislative affairs, said.

As the tours continue around Yosemite National Park, visitor Becky Salzmann can't help to think of the Florida couple she helped comfort just a day ago. Then on Thursday, a much larger rock fall injured a man and made the Yosemite Valley look like a war zone engulfed in a huge dust cloud.

Connor Britts and Josh Edwards are climbers spending a few weeks in the park. Officials say a helicopter is on its way to rescue the climber. Dust billowed high up the face of El Cap and lingered in the air long after the rocks had settled at the cliff's base. It all started at 1:52PM local time, and as around 30 climbers were making an ascent nearby. He dived on top of me as soon as he could see what was going to happen. The previous day, a smaller slide killed 32-year-old British tourist Andrew Foster.

In all, seven separate rockfalls occured on Thursday over a period of four hours.

"Yosemite is just a really active, wild place". A natural part of erosion occurring over millennia, rock fall is unpredictable but often occurs during or after heavy rain or snow, like the unusally snowy 2017-18 winter. I free climbed past this section and was shaken by how insecure the entire pitch was.

"The fact that these rockfalls did occur is not unusual in and of itself", Gediman says.

Climber Ryan Sheridan, 25, of Buffalo, N.Y., had been scaling the route for days with a climbing partner when the rock let loose below them Wednesday.

The last rockfall-fatality in Yosemite happened 18 years ago when a rock climber, Peter Terbush, was killed by a rockfall from Glacier Point.

Gediman says the two were hiking at the bottom of El Capitan's vertical face in preparation on their way to scale it when the rock fell.

"It's kind of an inherently risky sport", Hayden Jamieson, 24, of Mammoth Lakes, California, said as he prepared to head up El Capitan early Saturday.

  • Joey Payne