NEWSFLASH: One dead in massive El Capitan rockfall

by Nick Brown - UKC 28/Sep/2017
This news story has been read 26,631 times

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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