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Another Major Rockfall off El Cap is Epic in Size

On Sept. 27, a rockfall off El Cap in Yosemite killed one person and injured another. A day later, one 10-times as big broke away from the famous mountain.

There are a number of Ontario climbers in Yosemite right now, including Pete Zabrok and Pete Hoang, with different parties and on different trips.

Huge rock fall just now on El Cap. @dustin.jj and I are alright – hope others are too.

A post shared by Peter Hoang (@pete.hoang) on

Zabrok was climbing within a few hundred metres of the rockfall yesterday and the one today reportedly took out a section of the route he was on. Luckily, he topped out El Cap before the major rockfall.

He wrote on Facebook, “This rockfall was a full order of magnitude greater than the previous ones. By my estimation 10-to-the-8 lb of granite.

“The Merced River has turned white with rock dust. Patrick Mcredmond observed two apartment buildings falling and an entire subdivision of houses, it was that big!

“Ryan Sheridan and I were hauling on the summit when the rockfall happened so we didn’t see the actual fall. We saw what you see here.”

Canadian flag from Zabrok’s team. Photo Pete Hoang

The rockfall occurred on the East Buttress area of El Cap, near the East Ledges and the Waterfall Route.

Zabrok told CBC after the first rockfall that he and his climbing partners were “scaling the 900-metre rock face at a faster than unusual pace. Had they not been, ‘we’d still be under there, and we’d surely be dead,’ he said.”

The National Park Service had closed much of the area around the previous day’s rockfall, when there was about six in total. This is a developing story, more to come.

The Sept. 28 rockfall. Photo Pete Zabrok