A second massive rock fall hits Yosemite National Park

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
September 28, 2017US News
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A second massive rock fall hits Yosemite National Park
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A second massive rock fall has hit Yosemite National Park on Thursday, a day after a slab dropped from El Capitan, killing a British climber and injuring a second.

Ken Yager, president and founder of the Yosemite Climbing Association, said he witnessed the most recent rock fall that appeared to be “substantially bigger” than the earlier one.

Driving past the base of the iconic El Capitan rock formation, Yager said he saw the dust cloud and emergency workers rushing to the scene. Images posted on social media showed a large dust cloud spreading across Yosemite Valley.

 

 

The massive granite slab that fell Wednesday from the iconic El Capitan rock formation in Yosemite National Park and killed a British climber was a rare event — but only because the rock fall turned deadly, longtime climbers said Thursday.

Rocks at the world-renowned park’s climbing routes break loose and crash down about 80 times a year. The elite climbers who flock to the park using ropes and their fingertips to defy death as they scale sheer cliff faces know the risk but also know it’s rare to get hit and killed by the rocks.

“It’s a lot like a lightning strike,” said Alex Honnold, who made history June 3 for being the first to climb El Capitan alone and without ropes. “Sometimes geology just happens.”

The last time a climber was killed by a rock falling at Yosemite was in 2013, when a Montana climber fell after a rock dislodged and sliced his climbing rope. It was preceded by a 1999 rock fall that crushed a climber from Colorado. Park officials say rock falls overall have killed 16 people since 1857 and injured more than 100.

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