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Huge Rockfall in Yosemite – First of 2023

Large rocks came off El Capitan. This marks the first major rockfall recorded this year

Photo by: Jim Hornibrook of 2023 Yosemite rockfall

Yosemite s one of the world’s most popular areas for rock climbers, so it’s always worth noting when there’s a big rockfall. Over the past decade, rockfall has killed people and has affected several classic climbs. For example, check out this photo from six years ago.

On Feb. 21, Jim Hornibrook uploaded a short video to the Big Walls Forum on Facebook, which shows cloud of dust rising up as rocks fall to the forest below. It’s hard to place where the rock came from, but it was on the right side of El Capitan. Watch here.

Earlier this winter, two people were killed from rockfall in Yosemite. In fall 2021, a big rock came off Plastic Surgery Disaster. In 2017, a rock “the size of an apartment building” fell off El Capitan. At least 30 climbers were on the wall at the time. In 2015, the Northwest Face of Half Dome was forever changed by rockfall. Fifty-eight years after the first ascent, a sheet of rock 70 metres tall and 40 metres fell to the ground.

Last in 2022, one of Canada’s most iconic peaks, Snowpatch Spire in the Bugaboos, had a large section collapse destroying a dozen routes. And over the past few years, Squamish has been the scene of some gigantic rockfalls.

Rockfall on Camera

Lead photo: Jim Hornibrook of 2023 Yosemite rockfall