Climber Deaths in Yosemite, Tahquitz

5/20/13 - A climber died Sunday after he fell climbing the Muir Wall (5.10 A2) on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, California. The Muir Wall is a 33-pitch line just left of the famed Nose.

The man has been identified as Mason Robison, 38, from Montana. It's believed that Robison pulled a loose block off the wall on pitch 27, which triggered rockfall and severed his dynamic lead rope. His haul line eventually caught him, after he had fallen about 230 feet. He died from the injuries sustained in the fall and the impact of the rope.

Climbers at the base of El Cap notified Yosemite Search and Rescue at 9:15 a.m. They rappelled from the summit to retrieve Robison and his climbing partner, who was physically unhurt. The men were airlifted off the summit.

Two days earlier, 21-year-old Lucas Dunn was killed climbing in Tahquitz Rock, also in California. Greg Davis, Dunn's partner, wrote a detailed report on of the accident. Dunn got caught in rockfall while rappelling after climbing The Vampire (5.11a); he fell more than 300 feet. He did not die on impact; two climbers standing nearby called the sheriff's office, and after lowering to Dunn, began administering CPR alongside Davis. Rescuers arrived via helicopter some time later.

Date of deaths: May 17 & 19, 2013


Previous Comments

your job is to stay alive and never put yourself or others at unnecessary risk

Bob Bailey - 01/29/2014 4:31:49

Turkeys don't soar with eagles so nor should we All the best climbing equipment in the world ain't gonna beat gravity - and nor are you! Stick to terra firma where you were designed to 'Never been up a mountain' Al'

allan downes - 12/21/2013 8:29:45

Heshka, C'mon, dude. I'm pretty sure that Pony actually meant that these truly unfortunate boys were lucky to have died while pursuing their passion, INSTEAD of, say, a car accident or from cancer or some other debilitating sickness. They lived good, strong, adventurous lives, literally right up to the last moment! Who could ask for more? Whatever his exact meaning, I'm absolutely sure he didn't mean that they were fortunate to have died, as opposed to living. It's really not that difficult a concept.

No one in particular - 06/19/2013 4:15:29

May they all R.I.P. From a fellow climber from Squaw valley-CA.Who survived a 70 footers screamer to the ground=Thump!Yosemite has taken a lot of great climbers. It comes with the sport!ROCK ON!!!

jimi.Baker - 06/08/2013 9:34:48

I've never met Mason or Mark and it sounds like they were gifted climbers. I disagree however with the tone of the final line. Sure, they were lucky to have lived their dreams. In my experience, climbers cling to life pursuing their passion and would not have considered themselves fortunate to have died doing what they loved. I suspect they would have instead preferred to continue living and climbing.

Heshka - 05/27/2013 6:49:59

Mason was an extremely talented strong climber who was unassuming and very approachable. In the 90’s, he and his brother Mark would work 12 to 14 hour days in Alaska for a few months and then climb the rest of the year all around the world. He is the only climber to have free-soloed Saint Nicolas peak (the most technical peak in Glacier National Park) in the dead of winter. Tragically, his brother Mark was killed in 97’ in a freak climbing accident when he and his partner fell 1,100 feet down the north face of Mt. Rainbow in Glacier National Park. While it may be incomprehensible to the general populace, Mark and Mason were fortunate to have died while perusing their passion.

Pony - 05/21/2013 7:28:14

I am very sad because of young people deaths. I regret very much.

Mido Hasanic - 05/21/2013 12:29:33