Climber Falls From Cathedral Spire, Marking Third Incident In Yosemite This Week

On Wednesday, one person died after a large rock fell near the East Buttress climbing route on El Capitan at around 1: 55 p.m. They were hiking at the bottom of El Capitan far from trails used by most Yosemite visitors in preparation for an ascent when the chunk of granite about 12 stories tall broke free and plunged, Gediman said.

Park ranger Scott Gediman said it was a tragic situation of "wrong place, wrong time". There's no word on his condition.

Andrew Foster, 32, from Cardiff, was trapped while his wife, Lucy, 28, was seriously hurt when granite fell from the El Capitan monolith on Wednesday.

"There was so much smoke and debris", said climber Ryan Sheridan, who had just reached the top of El Capitan when the rock let loose below him. Nature is powerful and we are small and there is something necessary in that I think.

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Andrew Foster's death is the first fatality from a rockfall at the park in four years, according to park services.

Staff at the Cardiff-based outdoor store Up and Under, where Mr Foster used to work, said on their return, the couple had meant to covert a van into a motorhome so that they could explore the European Alps for the next 12 months.

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.

Ken Yager of the Yosemite Climbing Association said Thursday's rock fall was larger than the one a day before on the iconic rock formation. Dust billowed high up the face of El Cap and lingered in the air long after the rocks had settled at the cliff's base. "It's like witnessing the largest natural event that I've ever seen".

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Still, some climbers acknowledged stress as they weighed whether to take one of 100-some routes up El Capitan or any other big climbs in the park right now, said Josh Edwards, 21, of Bend, Ore. The biggest recent rock fall occurred in 1996 in the Happy Isles area.

No climbers were caught up in the rockfall Thursday.

El Cap climbers and tourists have had a bad week.

These climbers snapped photos from above during the incident.

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The man killed in yesterday's rockfall has been identified as Andrew Foster of Wales.


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