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Yosemite's El Capitan Claims 2 Highly Experienced Climbers

Men were speed-climbing the Freeblast route, roped together
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 3, 2018 5:41 AM CDT
This Jan. 14, 2015, file photo, shows El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, Calif. Officials say two people have been killed after they fell while climbing El Capitan. The National Park Service says it...   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

(Newser) – Officials have identified two climbers who died when they fell from El Capitan in Yosemite National Park on Saturday as 46-year-old Jason Wells of Boulder, Colo., and 42-year-old Tim Klein of Palmdale, Calif. Rangers received multiple 911 calls that two climbers had fallen while speed-climbing the Freeblast Route around 8am, reports the AP. Both men were reportedly very experienced hikers who had been climbing together since college, reports NPR; they were apparently roped together when they fell 1,000 feet. "Tim told me that Jason was the strongest and best partner he ever climbed with," friend Wayne Willoughby told Climbing.com. The investigation is ongoing. It was the second fatal incident in Yosemite National Park in a little over a week. Last week, a hiker fell to his death while climbing the iconic granite cliffs of Half Dome in rainy conditions. (Read more Yosemite National Park stories.)

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