Another Death On El Capitan

More bad news from the flanks of El Capitan:

A twenty eight year old climber died in a rock climbing accident on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park yesterday afternoon, Sunday, June 2, 2013. Felix Joseph Kiernan, from London, England, was climbing on the East Buttress of El Capitan, a popular climbing route in Yosemite Valley, when he was struck by a rock.

Stay safe out there everyone.

Posted In: Asides, News, Traditional Climbing
Areas:

Subscribe

Subscribe to the RSS feed to receive updates, and follow us on Twitter & Facebook

13 Responses to Another Death On El Capitan

  1. Bob June 4, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Totally sad but what a great route to go out on. Way too young! My heart goes out. I wonder if the lead knocked off the rock or another party above.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • jz June 4, 2013 at 10:44 am #

      Party above (says the article)

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
  2. jz June 4, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    I knew Felix, met him at the Red. He was a doctor and he tended to the wounded in the evenings.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  3. Pete June 4, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    I don’t see of a party above in the article. Supertopo thread makes it sound like he was belaying and his leader dislodged the rock.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  4. Pete June 4, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    …don’t see MENTION of a party above…

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
    • bob June 5, 2013 at 12:44 am #

      well, no matter how good your anchors are, and your pro, or how good your knots, etc., a falling rock from above is a hard one to defend against (no pun intended)….that is probably the one thing I fear above all else…the worst thing about back country routes or “loose” routes.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
    • bob June 5, 2013 at 12:50 am #

      OK, now I read where a piece of pro was placed behind a loose flake…that is totally avoidable!! The guy dislodge the rock and then it chopped the rope… a haul line saved him from hitting the ground but it didn’t do enough.

      GD Star Rating
      loading...
      • Jonathan P Williams June 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

        Hey Bob, you have your fatalities crossed. And you may want to think for a second about how good you are at telling which flakes are loose and going to fall out versus which flakes aren’t loose, before you starting arm-chair quarterbacking a fatal incident. Just a suggestion.

        GD Star Rating
        loading...
  5. bob June 6, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    I did have my fatalities “crossed”, Jonathan. My last comment was actually the Muir Wall fatality that did involve placing gear behind a notorious flake. Placing gear always evaluating how solid the rock is taking the gear. If the gear fails in the rock then judgement was obviously flawed. It doesn’t make the climber a bad climber, but it does mean that the decision to place that gear at that position was a very costly one, ending in death. That’s show business!, and it can happen to the best of us.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  6. Jonathan P Williams June 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

    Bob, I have a problem with your after-the-fact commentary, your exclamation of how the Muir Wall was “totally avoidable,” and how the East Buttress was “a great route to go out on.” You disrespect the dead and the people who knew them, witnessed the tragedy, or experienced the sorrow of losing two good, young people. Anyone who’s climbed on these routes (I have) or with these two people (at least two of my close friends) recognizes that two good young, and talented men are dead– for no reason other than they were climbing, and back luck happened that day. It could just as easily as have been anyone, including me or you. So please, before you are going to decide to add your opinion to news of these tragedies, be sure you actually know the details of what happened, and have a little tact. Thanks. JW

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  7. Bob June 6, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    I can assure you Jonathan that I have a lot of sympathy for those guys and there is a certain amount of kindred spirit mentality in my comments. Yes, it could happen to any one of us but there is often something to be learned from climbing tragedies, things to avoid for the next guy that goes up on a route with loose rock, or whatever.
    Respectfully

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  8. Patrick June 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    Agreed…after 30 years of climbing int like this would have been treated with the utmost respect and reverence. Climbing is and has been a pursuit of differing drives. From 6 pack abs, slacklines, beer and chicks to the deepest spiritual paths, which ever demands the respect of Human life, not fault finding. Cheers to his soul. A few words…”Though my soul will set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light….I have loved the stars to fondly, to be fearful of the night”…..

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  9. Steve January 20, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    Anybody know how many deaths there have been?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...

Leave a Reply to Jonathan P Williams Click here to cancel reply.