Climber: Latest Rockfall At Yosemite’s El Capitan ‘Massive’

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (CBS/AP) – A day after one person was killed and another one was injured in a rockfall at El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, another rockfall has happened, officials confirm.

They say one person was injured, but it’s unknown just how badly.

A climber in Yosemite National Park tells the Associated Press a Thursday’s rockfall was easily “three times the size” of a massive rockfall a day earlier, killing a British climber. Ryan Sheridan had just reached the top of El Capitan when Thursday’s slide let loose below him.

Broke loose again, we just topped out. Ground shaking, rockfall crossed road

A post shared by Ryan Sheridan (@ryansheridan) on

Park officials issued a statement that reads: “Northside Drive exiting Yosemite Valley is closed due to a new rockfall off of El Capitan. Use Southside Drive to exit Yosemite Valley.”

A reporter at the park witnessed the slide and posted photos along with a statement: “#BREAKING: Another rock fall near #ElCapitan in @YosemiteNPS. My photographer and I witnessed the whole ordeal, it was so loud, thunderous.”

Reporter Matt Mendes talked to witnesses at the scene. Ken Yager of the Yosemite Climbing Association said after Thursday’s rockfall, he saw a loud cloud of dust and heard sirens.

This is a developing story.

Wednesday’s rockfall happened at 1:52 p.m. near the Waterfall Route on the east buttress of El Capitan where Horsetail Fall flows in the winter and spring.

The victim of that rockfall was identified as 32-year-old Andrew Foster of Wales. His wife is undergoing medical treatment in an area hospital. The two were at the park to climb El Capitan when the sheet of rock estimated to be 130 feet tall (40 meters) and 65 feet wide (20 meters) fell.

Gediman says the two were hiking at the bottom of El Capitan’s vertical face in preparation on their way to scale it happened. The massive rockfall was among seven that happened in the same general area during a four-hour period on Wednesday, he said.

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

Rescuers found no other victims.

The park records about 80 rockfalls per year, though they are rarely fatal.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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