newsmoments.net
newsmoments.net October 23, 2017


El Capitan climbers: Yosemite rock fall is biggest in memory

01 October 2017, 12:29 | Simon Arnold

What causes rockfalls like the deadly one in Yosemite?

Climber crushed by Yosemite rockfall was on 'dream' trip with wife

A series of rockfalls at Yosemite National Park has left one person dead and two others injured.

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.

"Those are things you can't really control, and it's an inherent risk people who climb take".

Another massive rockfall near El Capitan has closed down Northside Drive on the valley floor in Yosemite National Park. Images show a huge plume of smoke in the wake of the rock fall.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We're providing support and assistance to both families following this tragic event and remain in contact with local authorities".


"That part of [El Capitan] is pretty unconsolidated, but the west part of El Cap is so solid that nothing is likely to come off".

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

A sheet of rock estimated as 130 feet tall and 65 feet wide fell Wednesday, killing Foster, according to Yosemite National Park Ranger Scott Gediman, reported the Associated Press.

He said Mrs Foster, originally from Staffordshire, was being treated for life-threatening injuries in an area hospital and had been told of her husband's death.

"We didn't know what had happened, but it shattered (the glass) and the dust just poured in", Evans said.


"We were trying to outrun it". Triggering mechanisms like water, ice, earthquakes, fluctuation in temperature, and vegetation growth are among the final forces that cause unstable rocks to fall.

The first rockfall on weds, unfortunately killed one climber and injured another who were on the ground about to start climbing.

Foster's former colleagues at the Up and Under outdoor gear store in Cardiff, Wales, recalled him in a statement as a man whose passion for the outdoors, "and mountains in particular, was enormous and infectious". He estimates 30 or more climbers were on the wall at the time, but he could not confirm injuries or the size of the rock fall.

"It was done at tremendous peril to the rescuers because there were three subsequent rock falls that were all almost as big and would have killed anybody at the base", he said.




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