Yosemite rock fall kills 1, in­jures an­other

Ripon Bulletin - - Lo­cal/state -

YOSEMITE NA­TIONAL PARK (AP) — A mas­sive rock fall Wed­nes­day on the gran­ite face of El Cap­i­tan in Yosemite Na­tional Park killed one per­son and in­jured an­other at the height of climb­ing season, an of­fi­cial 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.

“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.

Moun­taineers from around the world travel to the park in the Sierra Nevada to scale El Cap­i­tan’s sheer face. Fall is one of the peak seasons be­cause the days are long and the weather is warm.

Ken Yager, pres­i­dent and founder of the Yosemite Climb­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, re­viewed pho­tos of the cliff face and de­bris field, es­ti­mat­ing the rel­a­tively thin piece that broke off cov­ered an area big enough to fit five houses.

“It cratered and sent stuff mush­room­ing out in all di­rec­tions,” said Yager, fear­ing that its vic­tim was some­one he knew from the climb­ing com­mu­nity.

Rock falls are com­mon in Yosemite but sel­dom fa­tal.

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