Massive Yosemite rock falls don't deter climbers - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Massive Yosemite rock falls don't deter climbers

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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. -

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on two rock falls in Yosemite that killed one person and injured two others (all times local):

1:40 p.m.

Climbers at Yosemite National Park are awed but undeterred by two rock falls that sent tons of granite plunging to the ground, killing one person and injuring two others over two days.

Hayden Jamieson plans to head up the giant El Capitan rock formation on Saturday.

He says climbing is an inherently dangerous sport, and that Wednesday's first crash of granite from El Capitan was like witnessing the largest natural event he had ever seen.

The first slab fell from a peak at the world-class climbing destination followed by a much larger chunk Thursday.

Climber Ryan Sheridan and his partner had slept on the wall in the fall zone a couple of nights before it came crumbling down.

He says freak accidents happen and he plans to head out for another climb Friday.

___

11:25 a.m.

Colleagues of a man killed in a rock fall at Yosemite National Park say he was passionate about the outdoors.

Andrew Foster was a sales representative for the outdoor company Patagonia in the United Kingdom.

Alex Beasley, U.K. manager for the company, described him as a passionate climber, mountaineer and skier who loved being in the outdoors.

Foster's former employer, Up and Under outdoor gear store in Cardiff, Wales, said his passion for the mountains was enormous and infectious.

It said Foster and his wife, Lucy, planned to explore the European Alps for a year.

Foster was killed and his wife seriously injured in the first of two massive rock falls this week at the world-renowned climbing site.

Another man was injured Thursday when rock and rubble broke through the sunroof of his SUV, hitting him in the head.

___

8:30 a.m.

A man injured when a second massive rock fall plunged in Yosemite National Park was driving out when rock and rubble broke through the sunroof of his SUV, hitting him in the head.

Television images show Jim Evans, of Naples, Florida, conscious and his wife holding a jacket around his head.

Fresno television station KSEE reports (http://bit.ly/2x1EnIU ) that Evans was airlifted to a hospital in Modesto, California, and is expected to survive.

Evans' wife, Rachel Evans, says she and her husband and two other relatives had ended a three-day visit to Yosemite and were leaving Thursday when the rock slide happened.

She says no one else in the car was injured.

___

7:30 a.m.

Yosemite National Park geologists worked into to the evening to inspect the face of El Capitan, where two major rock falls in two days killed one person and injured two others.

The scientists are trying to determine how big the second rock fall was and how it happened.

Park officials closed one of the exit routes from the park after a massive hunk of granite detached Thursday from the famed rock formation and plunged down, filling Yosemite Valley with dust and injuring a man.

Officials say the rock slide was significantly larger than a chunk of granite the size of a 12-story building that broke free and plunged on Wednesday, killing a British climber and injuring his wife.

British media reports 32-year-old Andrew Foster and his wife were avid climbers who were in Yosemite celebrating their first wedding anniversary.

___

12:25 a.m.

Two straight days of massive and dangerous rock falls at Yosemite National Park have left one person dead, two injured and mountain climbers stunned.

A huge hunk of granite came off El Capitan on Thursday, even bigger than the major piece of rock that fell off on Wednesday. The second left just one man injured.

The first killed a British man and injured his wife.

Park officials say rock falls like these are common but it's rare for people to be injured or killed by them.

Climber Ryan Sheridan was at the top of El Capitan when the second chunk fell on Thursday, and said the smoke and debris filled the entire Yosemite Valley.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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