Yosemite Rockfalls Leave 1 Tourist Dead, 2 Injured At El Capitan

Climber crushed by Yosemite rockfall was on 'dream' trip with wife

An official says the man killed when a massive hunk of rock fell of Yosemite National Park's El Capitan monolith was a British climber.

The couple, who were found with climbing equipment, are thought to have been scouting the ascent from a trail when a sheet of granite around 40 metres by 20 metres (131ft by 65ft) fell from a height of around 200 metres 650ft.

The park is taking precautionary measures and closely monitoring El Capitan, the site of those rockfalls.

Stock said park officials would not allow people into any area they felt is unsafe.

On Thursday a slab of granite tumbled off the park's famous climbing destination El Capitan, injuring an elderly man driving nearby. The simple answer is anytime you have sheer rock walls, something is bound to fall.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We're providing support and assistance to both families following this tragic event and remain in contact with local authorities".

Ryan Sheridan, a climber who had just reached the peak of El Capitan, told the Chicago Tribune, "There was so much smoke and debris".

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San Jose State professor Kim Blisniuk, whose job is to study natural hazards around the world, says that water, climate change and even small earthquakes are factors in these rock slides.

Ian Mort, 60, of Los Angeles could smell the dust and he sat in jammed traffic after Thursday's rock fall as he headed into the park for his first trip, but he said he wasn't concerned.

"We didn't know what had happened, but it shattered (the glass) and the dust just poured in", Rachel Evans, who was trying to leave the park when the rockslide happened on Thursday, told KSEE.

A huge chunk of granite killed a British tourist, Andrew Foster, 32, of Wales, while he and his wife were hiking at the bottom of El Capitan. He estimates 30 or more climbers were on the wall at the time, but he could not confirm injuries or the size of the rock fall.

All areas in California's Yosemite Valley are open a day after a major rock fall from the famed El Capitan rock formation killed one person and injured another.

His wife, Lucy, was seriously injured.

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