Sign In:

×

Last Step!

Please enter your public display name and a secure password.

Plan to post in the forums? Change your default forum handle here!

×
×

Two Expert Climbers Fatally Fall from El Capitan

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.  

Tragically a gear bag from a party above them fell and was responsible for the both of them coming off the rope

Play
READ THE STORY
Glacier National Park Is On Fire
Up Next News

Glacier National Park Is On Fire

Glacier National Park Is On Fire

Saturday, August 11th was the hottest day on record in Glacier National Park.  On this same day, lightning started three different fires in the park. The wind-driven Howe Ridge fire, now estimated between 1,500 and 2,500 acres, claimed multiple buildings around Lake McDonald overnight. Lake McDonald Lodge and campsites and residences around the lake were evacuated while the Going-to-the-Sun Road closed between the foot of Lake McDonald and Logan Pass. For more information, the park

Play
READ THE STORY
Volcano Erupts at Chilean Ski Resort
Up Next Ski

Volcano Erupts at Chilean Ski Resort

Volcano Erupts at Chilean Ski Resort

You know you're in Chile when you're on the chairlift, watching a volcanic eruption happen before your eyes. And skiers just keep skiing. Chile's beloved ski resort, Nevados de Chillán, is nestled up close to the Chillán Volcano, one of the country's most active volcanos. Beginning in July, there have been earthquakes and other seismic activity associated with explosions from the volcano.  The Service Nacional de Geología and Minería has been tracking the volcano, and have found the

Play
READ THE STORY
Yosemite National Park Remains Indefinitely Closed
Up Next News

Yosemite National Park Remains Indefinitely Closed

Yosemite National Park Remains Indefinitely Closed

Three weeks ago, Yosemite National Park instituted the biggest closure the park has seen in decades, and on Sunday park officials decided to extend it indefinitely. The Ferguson fire, which is one of 18 fires currently active in the state, is to blame. According to Forbes, the 95,000-acre fire grew an additional 8,000 acres this past Sunday and now is severely impacting park roadways. Yosemite National Park released a statement, stating that in the last 48 hours all roads used to access the