Rock Fall, El Capitan 11.11.10


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Trad climber
Fresno CA
Oct 30, 2010 - 01:13am PT
Wow. That last post was in the area of Koko Ledge, where I learned to lead aid harder than A1. I climbed a lot there between 1970 and 1973. In 1973 we were on Koko Continuation's A4 travesre when a rock the size of an ice chest came crashing between my partner and me. He was hanging from smashies and rurps, and I was a t a sling belay, so neither of us could do much to dodge it.

Scary to think how unstable that wall was above us.


Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Oct 30, 2010 - 06:14am PT
Whoa is this the predicted rockfall for 11/11/10?

Cardiff by the sea
Oct 30, 2010 - 12:08pm PT
Those pictures are killer adamame. Shows the power of what went down. I was on the 8th pitch of the trip when it cut loose what a thing to witness.
Glad no one got the chop.

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Oct 30, 2010 - 12:59pm PT
Imagine being on the Moratorium when that cut loose. Yikes!

Big Wall climber
Nov 2, 2010 - 08:12pm PT
Ammon and I were climbing Bad Seed when the rockfall took place. After I realized that we were both spared, I pulled out the camera and shot this video. Someone already posted this on a different thread but I figured that it definitely belonged here as well.


Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Nov 2, 2010 - 09:36pm PT
Holy shit! That video is freakin' scary!

Glad you guys are OK

Big Wall climber
Nov 2, 2010 - 09:44pm PT
Thanks. We were glad to realize that we were going to be "ok" as well. Sorry for the shaking of the camera. It was an intense and scary moment for those first few seconds when we heard the rocks popping, cracking, and breaking loose.

Yosemite Valley
Nov 17, 2010 - 11:18pm PT
Just a quick note that this area was active again today (11.17.2010) with a medium-sized rock fall at about 3:15 pm.


Big Wall climber
Nov 18, 2010 - 02:18pm PT
Hey Greg

B Law was asking that I write up an account for the database about the rockfall events we experienced on El Cap 10-11-10. Is there an email address of yours I can send that to?


Yosemite Valley
Nov 18, 2010 - 09:06pm PT
Thanks Kait, that would be great.

Social climber
The Deli
Nov 19, 2010 - 10:24pm PT
At approximately 3:11 PM on Wednesday (11/17) I heard loud cracking and popping noises, followed shortly by loud “thud” noises (blocks bouncing off of a ledge). From just west of the Footstool, I looked across to see several planar blocks (refrigerator doors on steroids…) falling through space, and then heard the sound of the impact on the lower slab. There was a small dust cloud, but this event was nowhere near as large as the 10/11 event. There were no precursor noises from the rock scar area in the moments leading up to the rockfall. It was pretty cool to see the blocks in mid-flight. Nick was filming in the Footstool talus, just east of the Footstool and the guys on the wall must have had a nice view.

Here are a couple of photos for comparison:
(click on images for full versions)

Rock Scar as of 10/14/10
Rock Scar as of 10/14/10
Credit: Minerals

Rock Scar as of 11/18/10.  Note new scar outlined in red.
Rock Scar as of 11/18/10. Note new scar outlined in red.
Credit: Minerals

Mountain climber
Aug 18, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
My son was on the nose route on El Cap that day. He survived that rockfall and a few other close calls in Yosemite, but sadly passed away this week in a plane crash working for PGE in Chico - doing a job he loved. He was 26 and inspired me to climb the Snake Dike Route on Half Dome at age 59, one of the highlights of my life. Here's a picture he took - a self portrait with the rockfall in the background.

Matthew Moody self portrait on the Nose Route of El Capitan on 10-11-1...
Matthew Moody self portrait on the Nose Route of El Capitan on 10-11-10 during a massive rockfall.
Credit: mpmoody

My Snake Dike trip report is here;


Trad climber
Aug 18, 2013 - 05:09pm PT
mpmoody. So sorry for your loss. A beautiful and adventuresome life you son led. Nice TR of Snake Dike.

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Aug 18, 2013 - 05:37pm PT
mpmoody. . . so very sorry!


i'm gumby dammit

Sport climber
da ow
Aug 18, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
Very sorry for your loss. Looks like he lived well.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 18, 2013 - 06:34pm PT
Wow, I'm so sorry for your loss! How tragic.

I *sure* wish I had seen this post before I attempted to solo the Waterfall Route this spring! For your information, the current state of affairs is exactly as Klaus has described above, and the Waterfall Route is unclimbable.

Here's my trip report:

I was completely lost up there, and had no idea why I couldn't find the route. Answer: the route is now lying at the base of the wall. Sheesh.

I am also wondering if more rockfall has occurred in this area since the first fall? By my observation, the fifth belay of Waterfall Route has been obliterated. It used to be on the ledge straight left of the fifth belay on Klaus' route Get Whacked.
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