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Rock climber falls from Yosemite's El Capitan, sustains head and chest injuries

May 21, 2010 |  5:17 pm
ElCapitan A rock climber fell while scaling El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, sustaining head and chest injuries.

The 48-year-old man from France was climbing with a partner Thursday evening when he fell approximately 65 feet from El Cap Spire, part of the climbing route on El Capitan called the Salathe Wall, approximately 1,600 feet above Yosemite Valley. A second party on the route was able to provide basic emergency medical assistance until park rangers arrived.

Darkness prevented a helicopter from flying to the scene Thursday, so the injured climber, his companion and two other climbers stayed on site overnight. Two rangers were flown to the site early Friday morning to further assist the injured climber and prepare him for transport. Once secured, the man was airlifted to Doctors Medical Center of Modesto.

The cause of the climber’s fall is unknown.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: El Capitan towers over the Yosemite Valley floor. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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