NEWSFLASH: One dead in massive El Capitan rockfall

A rockfall "the size of an apartment building" fell from El Capitan's East Buttress yesterday afternoon, killing a person and injuring one other. September is the middle of the climbing season and the rockfall was witnessed by many people, including at least 30 people that were on the wall at the time.

The Guardian reports that Ken Yager, the president and fouder of the Yosemite Climbing Assocation, estimated that whilst the piece that broke off was relatively thin, it was big enough for five houses to fit inside.

UPDATE: The climber that was killed by Wednesday's rockfall has been named as Andrew Foster, 32. His wife is currently being treated in hospital. The pair are from Wales.

There was a second rockfall on Thursday, where a larger rock fell and debris reached the road.

Broke loose again, we just topped out. Ground shaking, rockfall crossed road

A post shared by Ryan Sheridan (@ryansheridan) on

Rockfalls in Yosemite are infrequent, but do occur. In 1996, a huge block of granite, with an estimated mass of 80,000 tonnes fell near glacier point. This registered on seismographs up to 200km away.


Thanks to Claire Clifton Coles for the use of her El Capitan image.


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28 Sep, 2017
A few more pictures on Russia Today. I have no idea how to link this but worth a search. Hope no more casualties, all the best, Chris
28 Sep, 2017
28 Sep, 2017
An acquaintance out there is under the impression that the 2 people involved were climbers from Wales. Tragic news - thinking of all those involved and affected by this. Chris
28 Sep, 2017
That matches what PTPP has said on Supertopo. Sad news.
28 Sep, 2017
Just been chatting with a pal who was 2 pitches up a route on the SE face not far from where the rockfall happened and saw the whole thing, he also thinks the people involved are from wales. Says that he saw a female at the base looking in a bad way (injured i presume). Anybody know of a welsh couple in the valley currently? hopefully not!
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