losangelesnewstoday.com March 19, 2018

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

01 October 2017, 12:32 | Katrina Lee

Climber crushed by Yosemite rockfall was on 'dream' trip with wife

Andrea Lankford right author of

An official says the man killed when a massive hunk of rock fell of Yosemite National Park's El Capitan monolith was a British climber.

One person was killed and two injured in the successive rock falls on Wednesday and Thursday at the climbing mecca.

A British climber was crushed to death in Yosemite National Park after he dived on top of his wife to save her from a colossal rockfall, she said yesterday. Thursday's crash sent a plume of granite dust throughout the Yosemite Valley, where thousands of tourists flock every year, and closed a main road out of the national park. He estimates 30 or more climbers were on the wall at the time, but he could not confirm injuries or the size of the rock fall.

The two were climbing in the park during the incident. Officials say a helicopter is on its way to rescue the climber.

The couple had been standing at the base of the cliff at the...

The formation is popular among climbers, like Alec Wright from Eugene, Oregon. Steindam says the chances are, "so low that I am not willing to give up climbing in Yosemite because there is a very slight possibility that might happen". 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.

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"I am a scientist, so I won't rule it out entirely", Stock said. There are about 80 rockfalls a year in the park, although many go unreported.

"Yosemite is just a really active, wild place".

He said Wednesday he did not know who was killed and injured and did not immediately respond Thursday to phone and email messages seeking updated information.

Andrew and Lucy Foster were set to scale the famous El Capitan rock face in the United States when the adventurer was killed by 1,000 tonnes of granite.

Ryan Sheridan, a climber who had just reached the peak of El Capitan, told the Chicago Tribune, "There was so much smoke and debris".

The couple, who lived in Cardiff, Wales and loved to rock climb, told friends that hiking Yosemite was their "big dream", the Telegraph reported. The September 28 rockfall ranks as the 29th largest rockfall in Yosemite Valley on record.

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