Update: Double Deadly Fall In Yosemite
Update at 8 p.m.: Yosemite National Park officials have identified the two climbers who fell from the “Freeblast” route on El Capitan this morning as 46-year-old Jason Wells, of Boulder, Colorado and 42-year-old Tim Klien, from Palmdale, California. Both were experienced climbers who had ascended El Capitan many times together. What caused them to fall remains under investigation, according to park officials. Further details are below.
Original post at 12:45 p.m. : Yosemite, CA – Yosemite National Park officials report that two plunged from El Capitan this morning marking the second time in nearly two weeks that climbers fell to their death.
Park Ranger Jamie Richards details that the two fell around 8:15 a.m. (Saturday), while climbing the “Free Blast” route on El Capitan, which is a route near or above the nose of the rock. Witnesses began calling 911 and Search and Rescue responded to the scene but found that the climbers did not survive the fall. Richards had little specifics but shared, “We still don’t know what happened, who these climbers were, where they were from. This is a tragic loss.”
Richards is not sure if the climbers were “hands free” or using ropes. She adds, “Rescue crews are still working on the recovery effort and trying to determine how they fell. Their identities will be released pending family notification.”
Just last month, another climber, 29-year-old Asish Penugonda from India, fell to his death on Monday, May 21, as reported here. Park rescuers continue to investigate what caused him fall from the Half Dome cables, according to Richards.