Without Warning, a Building-Sized Rock Falls in Yosemite

Tragedy at El Capitan
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2017 3:02 AM CDT
Deadly Rockfall at One of World's Most Famous Climbs
El Capitan in Yosemite National Park in California.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Tragedy at Yosemite National Park: A visitor was killed and another injured when a massive chunk of rock fell off the El Capitan granite monolith, one of the world's most famous climbs. The National Park Service says the huge rockfall happened near the "Waterfall Route," a popular climbing route on the east side of the 3,000-foot-tall rock formation, CNN reports. "I saw a piece of rock, white granite the size of an apartment building, at least 100 feet by 100 feet, suddenly just come peeling off the wall with no warning," Canadian climber Peter Zabrok tells the AP.

Zabrok, who witnessed the rockfall from above, says rescuers risked their lives to bring a survivor away. "It was done at tremendous peril to the rescuers because there were three subsequent rockfalls that were all nearly as big and would have killed anybody at the base," he says. It's peak climbing season in Yosemite, and the NPS says there were many climbers at El Capitan and other routes in the California park. Authorities say the park will remain open, with services unaffected. (In June, a California man became the first to conquer El Capitan without ropes.)

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