2nd Massive Rockfall in 2 Days Closes Yosemite Exit Route

Person killed Wednesday was British tourist
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 29, 2017 12:20 AM CDT
2nd Massive Rockfall Injures Yosemite Climber
A cloud of dust is seen in the distance on El Capitan after a major rockfall in Yosemite National Park, Calif.   (John P. DeGrazio)

A massive new rockfall hit Yosemite National Park on Thursday, cracking with a thundering roar off the El Capitan rock formation, injuring one person and sending huge plumes of white dust surging through the valley floor below. The slide came a day after a giant slab of granite plunged from the same formation, killing a British man on a hiking and climbing visit and injuring his wife, the AP reports. Climber Ryan Sheridan, who saw Thursday's rock fall from the top of El Capitan, says the new slide occurred in the same location as Wednesday's but was at least three times as large. "There was so much smoke and debris," Sheridan says.

Yosemite National Park officials say they closed the Northside Drive exit route from the park after the latest rockfall, the Los Angeles Times reports. The man killed Wednesday was identified as Andrew Foster, 32, of Wales. The park didn't identify his wife but said she remained hospitalized. At least 30 climbers were on El Capitan when a section gave way Wednesday. Foster and his wife were not on the cliff, however. 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. (Read more Yosemite National Park stories.)

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