Yosemite climber hospitalized after 30-foot fall on Cathedral Spire

by Antonio Miles October 1, 2017, 0:33
Yosemite climber hospitalized after 30-foot fall on Cathedral Spire

He and a U.S. Geological Service geologist were studying the mountain after the rock falls that awed but did not deter people in the climbing community. One injury was associated with Thursday's rockslide, but no deaths.

Park officials say rocks at the world-renowned park's climbing routes break loose and crash down about 80 times a year, but injuries are rare.

A day later, another rockfall occurred, again on the Southeast face of El Capitan, at 3:21PM, but this one was sizably larger than the one on Wednesday. "Through the process of it warming up this week - it's an exfoliation rock - and anytime that happens that process of cool to warm, it makes the rock really brittle".

Officials had no immediate estimate for how much the big rock weighed but Gediman says all of the rock falls Wednesday weighed 1,300 tons (1,100 metric tons) combined. Rescuers found no other victims. The precise cause of the latest Yosemite Rock Falls will require a geologic investigation, but as Fresno State Geology Professor Jerry DeGraff explains, they are just what happens when you have granite cliffs. "It's like witnessing the largest natural event that I've ever seen". All other people in the area have been accounted for and search efforts have been concluded.

This version corrects that DeGrazio saw the cloud of rock dust from the top of the Half Dome rock formation, not from the top of El Capitan.

Authorities say one person was killed and one was injured, and they are searching for more possible victims.

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The last time a climber was killed by falling rock at Yosemite was in 2013, when a Montana climber fell after a rock dislodged and sliced his climbing rope. The name of the person injured in Thursday's rockfall is not yet know.

"We did re-route the roads in-and-out of Yosemite Valley yesterday afternoon because a little bit of rock were on the road", Scott Gediman, assistant superintendent for public and legislative affairs, said.

On Wednesday, a climber from Wales was killed and his wife seriously injured.

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

Yosemite National Park identified the man Thursday as Andrew Foster, 32.


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