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Even Bigger Rockfall Strikes El Capitan — 1 Injured

El Cap climbers and tourists have had a bad week. Wikimedia photo. 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — Yet another massive chunk of granite fell from the heights of Yosemite’s El Capitan Thursday only a day after a 13-storey block fell from the monolith. A tourist was life-flighted to receive medical care after reportedly suffering a fractured skull. As of press time, his outlook is uncertain. 

According to an NBC News report, Thursday’s rockfall was much larger than the series of falls that came down Wednesday that killed one Welsh tourist and seriously injured his wife. At the time, 30 climbers were on El Cap’s walls, but no climbing injuries were sustained. 

No climbers were caught up in the rockfall Thursday.

We felt the entire mass of El Capitan shaking under our feet.

Both days’ rockfall occurred from a height of 1,800 feet, and came from the same rough area of the world-famous climbing wall.

Climber Peter Zabrok, who was on the monolith at the time of the rockfall Thursday, told NBC that Thursday’s event was “an order of magnitude” bigger than the one that occurred the day prior.

"We felt the entire mass of El Capitan shaking under our feet," Zabrok told NBC in a phone interview. "We wondered if the full face of the rock we were standing on was going to collapse.”

Preceding this week’s events, the last recorded rockfall-related death in Yosemite happened in June of 1999 when a climber was killed below Glacier Point. 

About The Author

stash member Sam Morse

TGR Editor-at-Large. author of The Ski Town Fairytale and creative behind The Bumion. Lover of steep-and-deep lines, long trails—and hot springs waiting in the distance.

El Capitan is a miracle of nature for me!