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5/29/15 – A 22-year-old climber from Colorado died from injuries in a fall on the Nose of El Capitan on May 27.
According to Tom Evans of ElCap Report, who spoke with the climber’s partners they day after they descended to the Yosemite Valley floor, the climbers had reached Camp VI on the Nose, about five pitches below the summit.
As one member of the team led the next pitch, one of the climbers noticed a dropped piece of gear on a ledge below them. He set up to rappel, but as he leaned back he suddenly fell. He had either neglected to clip his Grigri to the rope, clipped it incorrectly, or slipped before attaching it to the rope. The climber fell 200 feet to the end of the rope he was tied into, impacting the ledges of Camp V.
Yosemite Search and Rescue reached the victim the same day and raised the body and the two climbing partners to the top of the route and flew them down to the Valley.
Climbing extends its condolences to the victim’s partners, family, and friends. Hopefully, this tragedy will remind climbers everywhere of the need for constant vigilance when belaying or rappelling. As Evans writes at his website, “Sadly, the lesson here is to check and double-check your setup whenever you commit yourself to the rope. Also, all members of the team should look to see that anyone going on a rope is properly attached to it.”