Man Dies Saving His Wife From Yosemite Rock Slide

Man Dies Saving His Wife From Yosemite Rock Slide”

The deceased man was identified on Thursday as 32-year-old Andrew Foster of Wales.

Stock said it's impossible to predict when and where a rock fall will strike and detecting shifts in rocks could be a sign that one will break loose days or maybe years later.

She says no one else in the vehicle was injured. He and a US Geological Service geologist were studying El Capitan after vast slabs of granite - one about the size of a 36-storey building - successively broke loose from the formation and plunged down in huge, flinty clouds that swept through the valley floor. The injured man's wife, Rachel Evans, said that he was behind the wheel while they were driving through Yosemite when the saw a cloud of smoke.

A spokesperson for the park confirmed to ABC News that a significant rock slide released off of El Capitan, a summit above Yosemite Valley, on Thursday. Park spokesman Scott Gediman said the person was airlifted to a hospital with a fractured skull. However, it was rare for such a collapse to kill anyone, longtime climbers said Thursday.

The park usually has about 80 rock falls every year, but most result in no injuries or fatalities. They had been planning the climb for months.

Man Dies Saving His Wife From Yosemite Rock Slide

The last time a climber was killed by a rock falling at Yosemite was in 2013, when a Montana climber fell after a rock dislodged and sliced his climbing rope. Climbers were able to capture the giant plume of granite dust shortly after the rock fall.

A day later, another rockfall occurred, again on the Southeast face of El Capitan, at 3:21 pm, but this one was sizably larger than the one on Wednesday.

Canadian climber Peter Zabrok said that a white piece of granite rock the size of an apartment building suddenly gave way without warning.

A British newspaper is reporting that Foster died while trying to shield his wife. They were hiking at the bottom of El Capitan far from trails used by most Yosemite visitors in preparation for an ascent when the chunk of granite about 12 stories tall broke free and plunged, Gediman said. The slips happened along the popular "Waterfall Route" on the East Buttress of el Capitan. But Gediman said all of the rock falls combined on Wednesday weighed 1,300 tons (1,100 metric tons).

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