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Rock climbers react to fatal incident in Yosemite

Rock climbers react to fatal incident in Yosemiteā€¯

Thursday's crash sent a plume of granite dust throughout the Yosemite Valley, where thousands of tourists flock every year, and closed a main road out of the national park.

One person was killed and two injured in the successive rock falls Wednesday and Thursday. There's no word on his condition.

When a large sheet of granite fell from a height of 656 ft from #El Capitan in #Yosemite National Park, a man saved his wife's life by diving on top of her. The precise cause of the latest Yosemite Rock Falls will require a geologic investigation, but as Fresno State Geology Professor Jerry DeGraff explains, they are just what happens when you have granite cliffs.

Indeed, rockslides are a natural occurrence, and climbers need to be aware of the risks when they make an ascent.

The falls came during the peak of the climbing season on the massive rock formation.

Will Russ the owner of Santa Barbara Rock Gym says one of his members was at the El Capitan formation when the tragedy occurred.

On Wednesday, the smaller slide in the same area killed a British man and injured his wife.

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DeGrazio says he's seen avalanches and rock falls in the past but that Wednesday's rock fall was "more significant than anything I've seen before". The name of the person injured in Thursday's rockfall is not yet know.

Images showed a woman being carried into a helicopter by two rescue workers.

Canadian climber Peter Zabrok described the rock that fell as "white granite the size of an apartment building", adding that it suddenly peeled off the wall with no warning. The victim has been identified as 32-year-old Andrew Foster from Wales.

"It's kind of an inherently risky sport", Hayden Jamieson, 24, of Mammoth Lakes, California, said as he prepared to head up El Capitan early Saturday.

Andrew Foster and his wife Lucy were nearing the end of a three-week trip to the California park and sizing up their toughest hike yet on the El Capitan monolith when Andrew was crushed to death Wednesday.

These climbers snapped photos from above during the incident. Californian Chris Koenig said he visits Yosemite a lot.



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