Klein had climbed El Cap at least a hundred times, Wells had also climbed it many times. Both climbers fell to their deaths this Saturday in Yosemite National Park on the famed face. Click Farmer/Flickr Photo .
For reasons still unknown, two experienced climbers—Jason Wells and Tim Klein—fell to their deaths while climbing Yosemite’s El Capitan on Saturday, per the New York Times.
The incident has shocked the climbing community. Best friends and veteran climbers said their ascent up El Cap’s "Freeblast" route was well within their skill and experience. Wells, 46, and Klein, 42, had been climbing together since their early 20s.
“It’s safe to say they knew exactly what they were doing,” said former climber partner Stefan Griebel to the New York Times.
Well acquainted with the walls in Yosemite, they would often scale El Cap twice in one weekend. This Saturday was just supposed to be another day on the wall.
“They were not pushing the envelope,” said fellow climber and friend Brady Robinson to the Washington Post. “They weren’t going as fast as they could.”
They were even joined by an additional friend—Kevin Prince—which kept the ascent at a leisurely pace.
Then something unexplainable happened. Tethered together, Wells and Klein fell from the wall. Prince—who was on his own anchor system—was unable to see the incident as it unfolded, leaving family members, park officials, and fellow climbers mystified to what went wrong.
The NPS received several 911 calls at 8:15 a.m. around the time of their fall. Per the report in the Washington Post, a crowd had gathered at the meadow below El Cap to watch another set of climbers attempt a record-setting climb—and it is likely some may have witnessed the two climbers plunge through binoculars.
The deaths have shaken the climbing community. While hundreds of climbing related injuries occur in Yosemite each year, a fatal accident involving someone as elite as Wells and Klein has not happened in years. According to the Washington Post, Alex Honnold–who just set a new speed record on El Cap–is reportedly reevaluating his safety margins in light of the accident.
We here at TGR want to extend our condolences to the friends, family members and climbing community that Wells and Klein left behind.
Bad news, everybody. NOAA recently released their U.S. Winter Outlook for the 2018/2019 season, and it doesn’t look good for those who love cold, snowy weather. The report calls for a warm and dry winter in much of the West, and estimates a 70-75% chance of El Nino developing. These predictions are based on observations of three climatic phenomena: ENSO, the Arctic oscillation, and the Madden-Julian oscillation. It's going to be a wet winter down South. Too bad there isn't much
Breaking news today from Patagonia's HQ. For the first time, the company is endorsing two candidates running for the U.S. Senate whose platforms align with their environmental goals. Here's their press release: To get involved in the November midterm elections, visit Protect Our Winters and register to vote. These endorsements, while new, continue a stream of efforts made by Patagonia to emphasize the value and importance of public lands and the environment,
A view of Alpine, WY. Much of the nearby land is classified as wilderness study area. Wikimedia Commons photo. From Bear’s Ears to ANWR, land-use policy has been a hotly contested topic in recent years. However, not all battles over public land draw big money from corporations and political organizations. If you’re interested in the debate surrounding wilderness conservation and recreational access to public land, here is a much less-publicized issue which you’ll probably care about, no