Here's How Witnesses Described the Deadly Yosemite Rockfall


Chunks of granite continued to tumble from El Capitan after a massive rock fall Wednesday killed one person and injured at least one other.

The Yosemite rockfall, of "undetermined size", took place Wednesday afternoon along the popular Waterfall Route, according to the park.

Canadian climber Peter Zabrok, 57, was scaling El Capitan and was above the rockfall when it occurred, he told Fox News.

Several witnesses called 911 after the incident. The park describes the site as a "beacon for visitors, a muse for photographers and one of the world's ultimate challenges for climbers".

Mountaineers from around the world travel to the park in the Sierra Nevada to scale El Capitan's sheer face. Fall is one of the peak seasons because the days are long and the weather is warm.

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In 2013, a rock dislodged and severed the rope of a Montana climber who was scaling El Capitan.

Yosemite Valley and the park records about 80 rockfalls per year - though many more rockfalls go unreported, officials said.

John DeGrazio of YExplore Yosemite Adventures said Thursday he had just reached the summit of Half Dome with a group of hikers when they saw large plumes of dust rising up the vertical wall of El Capitan. "It doesn't make it any less tragic when someone gets in the way of that".

The incident is especially unfortunate as it is now hiking season in Yosemite, according to the park, putting many visitors on the hiking trails in the park.

The irregular "sheet" of rock that fell was estimated to be 130 feet tall, 65 feet wide and 3 to 10 feet thick.