Yosemite's El Capitan scarred after 2 days of rock falls

Oct 01, 2017, 00:29
Yosemite's El Capitan scarred after 2 days of rock falls

A climber who was killed by falling rocks at Yosemite National Park in California saved his wife's life, his aunt has said.

The climbers made it to the top after a couple of hours.

"The area is not closed; it's still lovely weather, so people are climbing", he said.

According to the National Park Service, seven rockfalls occurred Wednesday at one of the area's most famous climbing destinations - El Capitan. A natural part of erosion occurring over millennia, rock fall is unpredictable but often occurs during or after heavy rain or snow, like the unusally snowy 2017-18 winter. Nature is powerful and we are small and there is something necessary in that I think.

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"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.

El Cap climbers and tourists have had a bad week.

The park records about 80 rock falls per year, though they are rarely fatal. Detecting shifts in rocks could be a sign that one will break loose days or maybe years later, he said. His wife, Lucy Foster, was injured and is recovering in a Modesto hospital.

Wife Rachel Evans told Fresno broadcaster KSEE-TV, that the family had just finished a three-day visit to Yosemite at the time of the accident. Triggering mechanisms like water, ice, earthquakes, fluctuation in temperature, and vegetation growth are among the final forces that cause unstable rocks to fall.

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"Something came through our sunroof, but we didn't know - it was closed".

The slide on Wednesday featuring the building-sized boulder killed Andrew Foster, 32, of Wales, who was hiking with his wife at the bottom of El Capitan and preparing to ascend El Capitan far from trails used by most Yosemite visitors.

The couple was also active with the Cardiff University Mountaineering Club.

Two people were injured and one died in a series of rockfalls Wednesday that displaced an estimated 1,300 tons.

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Authorities say one person was killed and one was injured, and they are searching for more possible victims. The park said at least 30 climbers were on the formation Wednesday during the deadly rock fall.

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