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Rock climber falls in Yosemite Park in third incident in one week


A series of rockfalls on El Capitan this week - at the height of prime Yosemite climbing season - killed one climber, left a 130-foot scar on the monolith and sent a chill through the climbing community.

The pair, found with climbing equipment, are believed to have been scouting out the ascent from a trail when the granite sheet measuring about 40m (131ft) by 20m (65ft) fell shortly before 14:00 local time (21:00 BST) on Wednesday.

Will Russ the owner of Santa Barbara Rock Gym says one of his members was at the El Capitan formation when the tragedy occurred. All other people in the area have been accounted for and search efforts have been concluded.

A climber who was above a deadly rockfall at Yosemite National Park says a hunk of granite "the size of an apartment building" fell off the mountainside.

Officials had no immediate estimate for how much the big rock weighed but Gediman said all of the rock falls Wednesday weighed 1,300 tons (1,100 metric tons) combined.

"We'll all be thinking about it, that it's there, but it's in our nature to climb", he said.

Park spokesman Scott Gediman says one injured person was airlifted to a hospital. But fatalities are rare.


El Cap climbers and tourists have had a bad week.

His wife Lucy was injured and remains in hospital. "We were trying to outrun it; it was like "Go!" Triggering mechanisms like water, ice, earthquakes, fluctuation in temperature, and vegetation growth are among the final forces that cause unstable rocks to fall. "Let's go!' and at the same time my husband reached up and he was like 'Oh, my head, my head" because it was bleeding profusely and hurting".

"Mother Earth changes every day, and we just have to get used to it, I guess", he said.

On Wednesday another piece of rock broke off the same site, killing British climber Andrew Foster, 32, and seriously injuring his wife, according to park officials.

The man killed in yesterday's rockfall has been identified as Andrew Foster of Wales.

On Thursday, a second rock fall at the site saw one person injured.

The last time a climber was killed by a rock falling at Yosemite was in 2013, when a Montana climber fell after a rock dislodged and sliced his climbing rope.

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