ElCap Report 5/19/13
By Tom Evans
Yo… it started out a beautiful spring day. The three person mixed team on the Nose did the King Swing and was motoring along when I left. There was a team on the Salathe that was doing well too. I saw a wall team from yesterday climbing above Camp 5 this morning.
I arrived at the Bridge around 9:20am and was immediately approached by Ranger Ben Doyle who had reported that a call for help had come in from a party high on ElCap. I set up my instruments and viewed the scene… I was horrified to say the least, and I will not go into any details at this time as an investigation is underway. One of the team was killed in a fall. Yosemite Search and Rescue immediately swung into action and did a “from the top” extraction of the deceased climber and is presently evacuating the surviving partner. In all my 18 years of photographing ElCap I have never seen such a grisly, terrible scene.
I could write more but just don’t have the heart to do so right now. I will let you know more later….. condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased climber. As an employee of NPS I am not at liberty to share any names and further details at this time.
So that’s the way it is, this 19th day of May, 2013.
A day of great sadness that will live in our memories for a long time.
Next day.... I talked with the surviving member of the team, who said that his partner was climbing about 20ft above him, when he weighted a cam that pulled out when it dislogged a large block. As he fell, the block cut his climbing rope and he fell to the end of the haul line (a static rope) and died instantly. YOSAR performed brilliantly and the operatio