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#286503 - 09/28/17 02:15 AM El Cap Disaster/Rockfall
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5924
Loc: southern Cal
Just watching TV news and I am shaken to the core. Given the number of routes on El Capitan, Yosemite Nat'l Park and the number of climbers who are probably involved there at a prime time for climbing in Yosemite, this could easily bethe biggest disaster in the history of American mountaineering...
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#286504 - 09/28/17 03:11 AM Re: El Cap Disaster/Rockfall [Re: hikermor]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1307
Wow! Don't have a TV. can you describe the rockfall. How big?? You are correct. This is prime-time for Big Wall climbing. Many teams will be on El Capitan, and some approaching the base, getting ready to go up the cliff face. This cannot be good news. Please provide more updates when you have them.

UPDATE
OK - I looked at Reuters. Their facts are confused. They are saying a rockfall near the Waterfall Route. That route is not on El Capitan itself, but instead to the left of the famous Yosemite Falls. The Waterfall Route is not commonly climbed. However, this rockfall is very bad news, because there is a major trail in the valley below this cliff face. The trail connects the Valley floor to the upper elevation, the lookout at the top of Yosemite Falls. It is a very popular trail. The news is saying that one person is dead ... but this is preliminary. Many people use that trail during summer, incl. climbers, hikers, and onlookers.
At this stage ... NEED more info. The press coverage is confused.

UPDATE #2

Ok the Reuters news was wrong. Just saw an actual photo from a climber. Hikermor - you were right. A very large rockfall off the East Buttress of El Capitan. Potentially devastating to anyone near the base, or on trails nearby. The East Buttress has a popular classic route, and it is possible that people were climbing on it at the time of the disaster. It might take 24-48 hours before rangers know who is missing/killed. Thanks for reporting!


Edited by Pete (09/28/17 04:01 AM)

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#286505 - 09/28/17 04:40 AM Re: El Cap Disaster/Rockfall [Re: Pete]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4554
Loc: SOCAL

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#286506 - 09/28/17 05:01 AM Re: El Cap Disaster/Rockfall [Re: hikermor]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 1984
Loc: Great Plains
Yikes! Very scary! It's sad that there was one fatality but hopefully there are no more.
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#286511 - 09/28/17 01:48 PM Re: El Cap Disaster/Rockfall [Re: Phaedrus]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5924
Loc: southern Cal
http://abc30.com/rescue-team-continues-t...mbers-/2461421/

An update from a climber on El Cap itself. While this is indeed a sad event, it doesn't seem to be anywhere near the scale I was conjecturing in the first post on this subject - and actually rather trivial compared to other disasters currently unfolding.

I first climbed in Yosemite in 1958 (the year of the first ascent of El Cap's face by Warren Harding et al.). Climbing on the local rocks in Tucson, my mentor was always raving about the solid qualities of Yosemite granite. He was correct - the rock there is generally quite solid - but nothing lasts forever.
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#286513 - 09/28/17 03:31 PM Re: El Cap Disaster/Rockfall [Re: hikermor]
Pete Offline
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Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1307
really a huge piece of rock that came off.
very, very fortunate that more people were not killed.
your original speculation was not wrong - with its intent.
this is the height of climbing season ... many people could have been impacted.

prayers for the family involved.

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#286514 - 09/28/17 04:21 PM Re: El Cap Disaster/Rockfall [Re: Pete]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4554
Loc: SOCAL
Per a report this morning there were 30 climbers on Yosemite at the time, plus others. It's sad there was a death, but very fortunate the count was not higher.

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#286521 - 09/29/17 03:20 AM Re: El Cap Disaster/Rockfall [Re: hikermor]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 1984
Loc: Great Plains
Another chunk collapsed today. No casualties this time, thankfully.
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“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#286526 - 09/29/17 12:44 PM Re: El Cap Disaster/Rockfall [Re: hikermor]
Ren Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 86
Ah, just read whom was killed and injured.

From Cardiff, my home city.

Hope his wife pulls through, she's still in a critical condition.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-41436218


Edited by Ren (09/29/17 12:44 PM)

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#286529 - 09/29/17 03:19 PM Re: El Cap Disaster/Rockfall [Re: hikermor]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1307
Ren - thanks for sharing. That's very sad.
Please update with news about Lucy.
Prayers for her.

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