Yosemite rock fall victims were British climbers | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Yosemite rock fall victims were British climbers

In this Wednesday Sept. 27, 2017, photo provided John P. DeGrazio, a cloud of dust is seen in the distance on El Capitan after a major rock fall in Yosemite National Park, Calif. All areas in California's Yosemite Valley are open Thursday, a day after the fatal rock fall.
John P. DeGrazio/YExplore Yosemite Adventures via AP

An official says the man killed when a massive hunk of rock fell of Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan monolith was a British climber.

Yosemite park ranger and spokesman Scott Gediman said Thursday that the man was with a British woman who was seriously injured.

Gediman says they are not being identified until their relatives are notified.

He says the two were at the park to climb El Capitan when the rock weighing about 1,300 tons (1,100 metric tons) fell.

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.

He says the massive rock fall was among seven that happened in the same general area during a four-hour period on Wednesday.

Rescuers found no other victims.

The park records about 80 rock falls per year, though they are rarely fatal.

ORIGINAL POST: Yosemite Valley open after massive rock fall kills 1 and injures another

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — A hunk of rock “the size of an apartment building” fell off the granite face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, killing one person and injuring another on a mountain at the height of climbing season, officials and witnesses said.

At least 30 climbers were on the wall at the time, but it was not clear if the victims were climbers or tourists, ranger Scott Gediman said Wednesday.

“It was witnessed by a lot of people,” he said.

The injured person was taken to a hospital near the park. No names were immediately released.

El Capitan is one of the world’s largest granite monoliths towering 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) above Yosemite Valley.

Several people made emergency calls, reporting the rock fall from the Waterfall route on the east buttress of El Capitan.

Officials didn’t provide details on the size of the rock fall, but climbers posted pictures on social media from hundreds of feet up the wall showing billowing white dust moments after the crash.

“I saw a piece of rock, white granite the size of an apartment building, at least 100 feet by 100 feet, suddenly just come peeling off the wall with no warning,” said Canadian climber Peter Zabrok, 57, who was scaling El Capitan and was above the rock fall.

Zabrok said he has climbed El Capitan dozens of times and has “never seen anything like this.”

All areas in California’s Yosemite Valley are open a day after a major rock fall from the famed El Capitan rock formation killed one person and injured another.

At least 30 climbers were on the vertical wall of the 7,569-foot (2,307 meter) El Capitan when the huge rock hunk fell Wednesday afternoon. It was not clear Thursday if the victims were climbers or tourists.

Yosemite National Park ranger and spokesman Scott Gediman says the rock appeared to fall from the popular “Waterfall Route” on the East Buttress of El Capitan.

He said Wednesday he did not know who was killed and injured and did not immediately respond Thursday to phone and email messages seeking updated information.

Images showed a woman being carried into a helicopter by two rescue workers.

Canadian climber Peter Zabrok says he saw a piece white granite the size of an apartment building suddenly peel off the wall.

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