Muir Rescue/Recovery

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 350 of total 350 in this topic
ElCapPirate

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Topic Author's Original Post - May 19, 2013 - 03:18pm PT
Anyone know what's happening on El Cap right now?
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
May 19, 2013 - 03:24pm PT
Werner might know but he must be workin.
Hope its not too serious.
ElCapPirate

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2013 - 03:31pm PT
Yeah T Hocking, Werner would know for sure... I'm sure he is busy at the moment.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 19, 2013 - 03:37pm PT
Cheyne just posted a photo on Facebook of a chopper on top of El Cap and then one of someone near the edge but no details.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
May 19, 2013 - 04:08pm PT
I was phoned by a friend on the scene and told that the leader on Muir triggered a HUGE rockfall at 9am this morning that peppered as far right as the Nose, and which also cut his rope and killed him. I don't know how far he fell.

I don't know which party it was. I heard only one person was killed outright, and do knott know anything of the partner. Rescue and/or recover was happening from the summit.

What a tragedy, I'm so sorry. My condolences to the family and friends. Be careful up there, it's dangerous.

Edit: Oh sh|t, I think I know who it was. However I will shut up until I know. Crap.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
May 19, 2013 - 04:12pm PT
This has been a tragic weekend for the community. I lost my best friend on Friday. Whoever is affected, please feel free to email me or message me on facebook. We gotta stick together.

Greg
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
May 19, 2013 - 04:16pm PT
OMG
Tahquitz 2 days ago, now this tragic loss.
Climb safe peeps!
RIP and condolences,
Tad
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 19, 2013 - 04:18pm PT
here is Tom's report of yesterday with activity on the Muir mentioned.

http://www.elcapreport.com/content/elcap-report-51813
ElCapPirate

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Topic Author's Reply - May 19, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
Yup, just heard the lead line got chopped and the leader fell all the way to the end of the haul line and is/was just hanging there.

So, sorry to hear this... I'm going to stop posting to allow time, out of respect for friends and family.
10b4me

Ice climber
Soon 2B Arizona
May 19, 2013 - 04:38pm PT
Damn, not good.
Condolences to the family, and friends
Leggs

Sport climber
Is this a trick question?
May 19, 2013 - 04:43pm PT
This is heartbreaking... my goodness....
We keep losing our friends...


Heartfelt condolences and blessings to all.



~peace


LilaBiene

Trad climber
May 19, 2013 - 04:44pm PT
Sobering, and incredibly sad.

GDavis, I'm so sorry you lost your best friend...unimaginable to me.

Sending my thoughts and prayers to all affected by the events of the last several days.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 19, 2013 - 04:46pm PT
Very sad news.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 19, 2013 - 05:08pm PT
George Lowe, Mark Chapman and i were at the top of the first pitch of the Nose when i heard what sounded like an explosion. I looked up and was shocked to see an enormous dust cloud on the Grey Bands and rocks heading our way. We ducked and were showered by small rocks and sand. The main load went JUST to our right.
A few minutes later we heard a yell for help. Mark was already down and went for the rangers. Later, from the meadow, we could see a body hanging from the end of a rope just below an overhang....very sad.
slodog

Trad climber
ontario canada
May 19, 2013 - 05:09pm PT
Very sad news-my thoughts and prayers go out to the familys.
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
May 19, 2013 - 05:10pm PT
Oh geez...too much to take in


Susan
socialclimber

Trad climber
CA
May 19, 2013 - 05:11pm PT
Glad you and your team were out of the way Jim... so sad about the climber who passed.

Charles
10b4me

Ice climber
Soon 2B Arizona
May 19, 2013 - 05:12pm PT
Jim, glad you guys are ok on such a sad day
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
May 19, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
Terrible news to say the least.

GDavis, hope everything heals well with you, really sorry to hear about that one too.

My sincere condolences to all families and friends.
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
May 19, 2013 - 05:16pm PT
I'm easily brought to tears.This latest round of happenings have caused me many.I don't know these people,but they are my tribe.So sorry folks.
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
May 19, 2013 - 05:16pm PT
Tragic.
My condolences to friends and family of the deceased.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
May 19, 2013 - 05:40pm PT
Sad
So much lost
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
May 19, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
Really terrible news.

This, after news of Greg's experience, is just horrible.

My condolences.

splitter

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
May 19, 2013 - 05:50pm PT
this is really sad. i can only hope it's not who it so obviously seems it is.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
May 19, 2013 - 06:12pm PT
Bummer!

When Pete Barton died at the base of The West Buttress, the next two days had separate climber deaths in The Valley, so this kind of back to back tragedy isn't new, but still horrific. Condolences to the victim's loved ones and I hope the partner is OK.

Jim, I'm so glad you guys are good - it sounds like you were really lucky to not get hit. That must have been terrifying. What a gnarly event ...

Thanks to Yosar and Werner for dealing with it as I know they will.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 19, 2013 - 06:18pm PT
So sorry to hear about this. Hang in there GDavis you have a lot of friends on here to lean on.
Daphne

Trad climber
Black Rock City
May 19, 2013 - 07:04pm PT
SO much loss. I am praying because that is all I can do. Love and peace to all in our community.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
May 19, 2013 - 07:31pm PT
Oh man...

There are a lot of loosies on the rock; nearly got taken out myself on Tahquitz.

Peace and condolences to family, friends and YOSAR.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
May 19, 2013 - 07:55pm PT
Just got back to Reno. Spent the whole morning in the meadow waiting for a friend from Alaska who had pre-arranged to meet there. So I was kinda stuck waiting while all this was happening. Tom Evans, Honnold, Ben the ranger , me, others all witnessing a grim scenario and trying to understand.. trying to figure it as it happened. Werner and George Lowe showed up too. Cheyne stopped by then called in and joined in the rescue/recovery. I'll perhaps post more tomorrow. The scenario as best was understood is previously reported on this thread.

For now my most sincere and inadequate condolences to his partner and family.

Derek
Sad in Reno
TomKimbrough

Social climber
Salt Lake City
May 19, 2013 - 07:59pm PT
Jim, George and Mark,
Glad you guys are OK.
Bummer for all.
TK
Robert L

climber
May 19, 2013 - 08:03pm PT
Condolences
Friends to the man brought down
And to the hurt that such coils-up
Was to be thinking of Micah, Johnny and Wade tomorrow
Need to get another candle
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
May 19, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
My sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

And I am very glad that Jim & crew are all OK!
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
May 19, 2013 - 08:32pm PT
Heinous.

Condolences to the loved ones. YOSAR earned their keep today.
westhegimp

Social climber
granada hills
May 19, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
Very sad. Condolences to the family and friends. RIP.

Wes
WBraun

climber
May 19, 2013 - 08:43pm PT
It was a bad one.

Just as Elcap pirate and Pete were saying.

I'm too tired to say much at this moment as we've been pulling ropes for hours.

Tom I think will post his photos any minute now.
Port

Trad climber
San Diego
May 19, 2013 - 08:49pm PT
Thank you for what you do Werner.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 19, 2013 - 08:49pm PT
Bad news. Only consolation is that more folks were not taken out by the rocks.

JL
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
May 19, 2013 - 08:54pm PT
Thank you, Werner...


hard to deal with the loses...

as posted elsewhere, Bev Johnson told me a few days before the helicopter crash:

In our last conversation we were commiserating about losing one of our friends on an Alaskan Peak. Her comment to me as we rang off was, 'Live every day to the fullest, as you never know when it might be your last!'
james Colborn

Trad climber
Truckee, Ca
May 19, 2013 - 09:20pm PT
I was in El Cap meadow this afternoon with my family and watched the helicopters and rescue personnel. I sat hoping for the best worst case scenario. Thinking that these pros are going to pull the victim from the heights of the Captain and he/she would have a thriller of a story to tell. I asked a tourist if I could use their binoculars to take a closer look up the muir. I found the victim below his/her partner and closed my eyes and laid in the meadow holding my son in my arms thinking of a sons father or a daughters mother. My condolences to family and friends of both the victim and his/her partner.
ß Î Ø T Ç H

climber
May 19, 2013 - 09:24pm PT
In all my 18 years of photographing ElCap I have never seen such a grisly, terrible scene.
chappy

Social climber
ventura
May 19, 2013 - 09:49pm PT
The whole experience was rather humbling. One minute it was a beautiful spring morning with friends on the Captain--Jim, George and myself as well as 4 German climbers. Two were friends of Jim's from previous travels. The five of us shared dinner and a fun evening together the previous night. The other two we had just met that morning. We had all met up at the base of the Nose helping one another and sharing the somewhat cramped real estate. It was all good. Jim had just followed George's lead of the first pitch and I had jumared about half way up the first pitch...then I heard the explosion. I looked up and saw the impact in the gray bands. A large dust cloud. Holy Shit! I knew this was bad--potentially really bad. We were in the impact zone and helpless. I started yelling--everyone started yelling Rock! Rock! There was that moment in time staring up and waiting for the impact. We were helpless--fish in a barrel. As the rock started raining down I was looking up hoping to dodge the worst of it. I briefly thought of how I was the one without a helmet. I realized there was too much coming down and I had to seek shelter. There was none. I covered my head as best I could with my arms and hugged the rock waiting for the impact that would split my head open. Miraculously this never happened. The worst passed just to the east of us. Max (one of the Germans)was worried my jumar rope would be cut. When it cleared we called around--Was anyone hurt!? No. Thank God. I decided immediately to rap and informed Jim and George. I had no idea what caused the rock fall and didn't know if more was on the way. I didn't want to find out. Max and his girl friend joined me and we were soon at the base of Pine Line. I thought I heard yelling from above as I was rapping. Sure enough. Jim and George had heard it too. People were calling for help. As I was on the ground I raced for the road to raise the alarm. I passed a group of people hiking up and asked if they had a cell phone. No. The second group of people I encountered just before the road informed me that the rangers had already been notified and were in El Cap meadow. I dumped my pack at my truck and approached the rangers. I told them what had happened and we tried to locate the distressed climbers. More park service personnel arrived with a spotting scope. The climbers were located in the upper dihedrals of the Muir. Things were starting to make sense. A rock fall there would have hurtled down and impacted exactly where it did. The rock fall wasn't natural. Things were about to get worse--much worse. I could see the climbers haul bags and belay through my binoculars. There was something I missed. A tourist with a very good set of binoculars asked me about the climber hanging there at the end of the rope. What? I asked. Yeah, he's been hanging there a long time. Puzzled I took a second look. OH MY GOD!
Sure enough there was a limp body hanging on a rope a full rope length below their belay. It wasn't a pretty sight. He had to be dead. The full impact of what happened, of what was happening began to settle in. This wasn't going to be a rescue but a body recovery. I also reflected on our own close call. A rescue helicopter arrived. It did a fly by and landed once again in the meadow. A rescue team and gear was being assembled. Tourists and climbers were also gathering. There was a somber mood--especially among the climbers. We had lost one of our own. It could just as easily been any one of us. Climbing accidents happen. People sometimes die climbing but we never think it will ever actually be you or me. If we did we would probably quit climbing. And then it happens. To some one we know, or to someone very close to us--a friend of a friend, or it happens in our presence. It is sobering and gives one pause. The climbing girl who was up on the Muir just a day or two before said it best... and I am paraphrasing here--I wish I could remember her exact words as they seemed so poignant, so perfect: Climbing seems like the best thing in the world and then something like this happens and we wonder why we do it at all.

Hopefully, in the wondering, in the sobering pause we can all reach a deeper understanding and appreciation of life, of friendship, of love, of those things really important and meaningful to us all. My condolences to all who knew and cared for this fallen member of our greater community.
klk

Trad climber
cali
May 19, 2013 - 09:55pm PT
terrible news.

rock fall on that scale, from high on the muir, could've taken out even more folks. hope it's stable now and isn't a new active zone. we've been spoiled by the relative stability of el cap.

condolences to all the friends and family--

10b4me

Ice climber
Soon 2B Arizona
May 19, 2013 - 09:55pm PT
Thanks Mark that iS a hell of a thing to be a part of, let alone witness
Gagner

climber
Boulder
May 19, 2013 - 09:57pm PT
Whoa - terrible. Glad you are okay Mark, as well as the others below. A sad sad day .... condolences...

Paul
elAndy

Trad climber
El Portal, CA
May 19, 2013 - 09:58pm PT
My heart goes out to the deceased tonight and their grieving family. A sad day for the climbing community. Another reminder that every day lived is a day worth cherishing and that every moment needs to be appreciated. Sad day.
Leggs

Sport climber
Is this a trick question?
May 19, 2013 - 09:58pm PT
Hopefully, in the wondering, in the sobering pause we can all reach a deeper understanding and appreciation of life, of friendship, of love, of those things really important and meaningful to us all.

So very true... as tears blur my eyes at what was experienced, witnessed and lost.

Thank you for your post, Chappy.
Dapper Dan

Trad climber
Menlo Park
May 19, 2013 - 10:06pm PT
Perhaps the details will come out later...

...but is it known if the deceased climber instigated the rockfall , as in pulling on something loose? Or did rock cut loose above him spontaneously , and he got caught under it ?

what a sad day .
mcbaker

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 19, 2013 - 10:12pm PT
I was in the meadow later this afternoon and saw more very visible rock fall coming from west of the heart. Completely separate area. Scary. Deepest condolences to those affected.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
May 19, 2013 - 10:43pm PT
I remembered reading about a block on the Muir Wall recently so I did a search. This was from a 2001 entry i http://www.supertopo.com/rock-climbing/beta/Yosemite-Valley-El-Capitan-Muir-Wall;

To the right of belay 32 (as shown on Supertopo) there is a huge block directly above where the haul bag sits on P30. This is the most logical place to to set up for hauling, however the block appears to be detached, and possibly unstable. Rather than place gear around or on this potential death block, we anchored the station by extending our 60m ropes to trees on the rim above.


At the beginning of the same thread Chris McNamara mentions a " loose flake " in the same spot. This is what scares me most about climbing. Sad day today. Maybe these loose features could be cataloged better or something?
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
May 19, 2013 - 10:51pm PT
Thanks, Mark.

[And wear a damn helmet, Dumbass. You're lucky to be alive.]
RP3

Big Wall climber
El Portal/Chapel Hill
May 19, 2013 - 10:55pm PT
Given where he fell, and the lack of a fresh rock-scar, I bet he pulled off a block. When I climbed the Muir a year ago, getting to the ledge on pitch 26, I pulled on a horrifically loose block the size of a small chest of drawers. It rocked, I pushed it back in place, and climbed up/around it, setting the lead and the haul line so that they did not touch it. My guess is that he pulled this block off, it fell, hit the grey bands, and knocked a bunch of other loose material off the wall.

This is truly awful and my heartfelt sympathies go to family, friends, and everyone else effected by this tragedy.

-Roger Putnam
RP3

Big Wall climber
El Portal/Chapel Hill
May 19, 2013 - 10:58pm PT
McHale...The block you are speaking of is bomber compared with the block I suspect he pulled off. Also the incident happened lower down.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
May 19, 2013 - 11:39pm PT
Thanks, I could not really tell from the thread where it ocurred. I knocked some rocks down out of the Grey Bands while doing the TD in 1972. Can't remember what happened. Besides yelling rock I could only hope people below would be OK.
Yafer

Trad climber
Chatsworth, California
May 19, 2013 - 11:41pm PT
This afternoon in El Cap Meadow.
This afternoon in El Cap Meadow.
Credit: Yafer
Yafer

Trad climber
Chatsworth, California
May 19, 2013 - 11:47pm PT
El Capitan today from the meadow.
El Capitan today from the meadow.
Credit: Yafer
Michael Nicholson

Big Wall climber
Thousand Oaks
May 20, 2013 - 12:15am PT
Sorry to hear about this...El Cap is so fun it sucks that this stuff happens
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
May 20, 2013 - 01:40am PT
hey there say, mark...


i love you.... i sure know my prayers are watching over you...

i just read this, from jaime... i been offline, all night, busy...



my deep condolences to the family of the climber that died, :(

thank you for sharing what happened...
i love you, dear brother of mine... i am very thankful that you are still
here with us... give my love to jaime, i just posted on her facebook...

hugs hugs and more hugs...
and god bless...

remember--you have a sis that loves you very much...
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
May 20, 2013 - 04:05am PT
hey there say, all...


oh my... at the time this happened, when a climber died, and my brother and his friends, and a few other climbers, came through alive, i was:

watching new life take place, as i was following a mama robin around the yard, as she fed her baby... :(


i wish that lone climber could have had life, as well, but
sadly, it was not to be...


i will always be grateful, for those that lived, by the grace of a
miracle...




once again, my deep condolences to the climber's family and loved ones...
Tobia

Social climber
Denial
May 20, 2013 - 04:41am PT
Prayers and condolences to all involved. Life is as precarious as the loose rock on the Captain. Such a tragedy to read about.
Double D

climber
May 20, 2013 - 05:53am PT
My condolences and prayers goes out to all family, friends and YSAR personnel who were on the scene.

crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 20, 2013 - 07:01am PT
Tragic and sad. Condolences to all.
Norwegian

Trad climber
the tip of god's middle finger
May 20, 2013 - 07:16am PT
sounds horrific.
i don't like to see others live out my personal nightmare.

i am mourning for the deceased
and for those whom were intimately involved
with experience.

bixquite

Social climber
humboldt nation
May 20, 2013 - 07:36am PT
close your eyes this morning and sing the beatles song "there are places I remember, some are gone
though some remain..." and cross your arms and hold hands with a loved one or partner, child.
I embrace our extended family of monkeys and i love you more.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 20, 2013 - 07:55am PT
a sober monday.. Memory's dredged up, feelings expelled. Sometimes i HATE climbing..Sometimes i struggle to understand this most ridiculous of games.


Thought and prayer to ALL..
10b4me

Ice climber
Soon 2B Arizona
May 20, 2013 - 07:59am PT
^^^ can't say that I've ever hated climbing, but at times I do question it's voracity.
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 20, 2013 - 08:12am PT
Oh man...every aid climbers worst nightmare.

Very sorry to hear this sad news. Best wishes to everybody.
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
May 20, 2013 - 08:14am PT
^^^ This is why I've "quit climbing" at least hundreds of times. It's an addiction.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
May 20, 2013 - 08:19am PT
Maybe there should be an organized strategy for dislodging loose rock on El Cap and other popular cliffs. Sounds like lots of climbers who had climbed the route knew of this hazard - if the right arrangements were made thru YOSAR and a qualified ascent, or descent team, maybe deadly blocks like these could be safely trundled. The more popular climbing gets the more lives are at stake when an event like this occurs.

I suppose this would bring liability issues into play, but loose rock seems to have been the cause of these last back to back tragedies, and it would be worth considering ways to eliminate these time bombs on popular routes.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
May 20, 2013 - 08:30am PT
^^^^^
I was wondering the same thing,
Maybe get ASCA involved?
Tad
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
May 20, 2013 - 08:51am PT
Helo making the first pass to check out the situation. Unfortunately a shorthaul was not possible at this time. Fantastic flying and effort by all involved. I cropped the photo to avoid showing the deceased just out of frame at the bottom. If any family or friends stop by this thread please know that a heroic effort was made by all involved to assist.

Again my condolences and perhaps I'll post more later.

Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 20, 2013 - 08:53am PT
Good idea warbler, just pick a day each year to close El Cap for people to rap down and trundle loose blocks. Should be a winter day and the rangers are probably needed to keep people off el cap. There will always be stuff sliding off the top, but loose blocks don't belong on trade routes like the Muir. I dont think the idea would be controversial.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 20, 2013 - 08:58am PT
hhmmm "lets make ElCap SAFE!"
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
May 20, 2013 - 09:00am PT
in these days of instant internet news coverage, there seems to be a news blackout on this incident

this is the only report i could find online:

http://www.uniondemocrat.com/News/Local-News/Yosemite-rockslide-claims-life



Yosemite rockslide claims life
Written by Union Democrat staff May 19, 2013 09:12 pm

At least one person was killed in one of two rockslides Sunday on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

The fatal slide occurred about 9 a.m. on El Capitan, the 3,000-foot granite monolith at Yosemite Valley’s north end.

The person killed was apparently climbing the south face of the iconic stone.

It was unclear if anyone else was injured.

A second rockslide occurred about seven hours later, according to witnesses.

While rockslides are commonplace in the park — one was reported a week ago — slide-related fatalities are not. The last was reported in 1999, when a Colorado climber, Peter Terbush, was killed by falling rocks on the Glacier Point Apron.

In 1996, a Whittier hiker, Hisano Hamada, was killed when a giant boulder crashed from Glacier Point.

And, three people were killed in 1980 on the Yosemite Fall Trail when thousands of tons of granite came crashing down.
SalNichols

Big Wall climber
Richmond, CA
May 20, 2013 - 09:16am PT
The rock is in a constant state of decomposition, and there are loose blocks and flakes all over the thing, some of which are prominent features. When would you consider the task to be complete?

No controversy?

Deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim.
thekidcormier

Gym climber
squamish, b.c.
May 20, 2013 - 09:16am PT
My condolences to the friends and family of of the victim as well as his partner.

Terrible.

Re RP3: my original thought was of that block at 26 aswell but it seems as though its not the cas as the team had apparently bivied at 26 the night prior and the incident happened on the pitch above...

Having said that, that block on 26 NEEDS to go!!! My haul line nearly dislodged it last year which could resulted it a cut haul line adding 200 pounds of kit hurling down aswell as the 80ish pound rock,,,,


phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
May 20, 2013 - 09:17am PT
It's so distressing to learn about these horrific events.

On top of the upset for the people in the present, just cruelly stricken, it brings back the echos of all the other tragedies in our world of climbing.

I have such gratitude and respect for the rescue people. Thank you.
covelocos

Trad climber
Nor Cal
May 20, 2013 - 09:20am PT
close your eyes this morning and sing the beatles song "there are places I remember, some are gone
though some remain..." and cross your arms and hold hands with a loved one or partner, child.
I embrace our extended family of monkeys and i love you more.

You capture my feelings exactly.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 20, 2013 - 09:22am PT
Who died?

RIP, whoever you are, and kind thoughts go all of his/her own.

JL
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
May 20, 2013 - 09:26am PT
My condolences to the decesed

The family

partner

and all the rest

Climbing can be so cruel

RIP
coz

Gym climber
Belmont
May 20, 2013 - 09:27am PT
Mark,

Glad u guys are OK, that would have been a hard one to take.

I remember some big loose stuff up there. But there is big lose stuff everywhere. You have to be train and careful.

That said I've almost been killed a half a dozen times at lest, by lose rock. One time I had a Gaint flake land on me and chopped my finger off.

Sad day, my sincere condolences to the close family and friends of the fallen.

SC.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 20, 2013 - 09:27am PT


Im down with this^^
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
May 20, 2013 - 09:29am PT
Horrible. Absolutely awful news. My condolences to all involved.
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 20, 2013 - 09:29am PT
The belay seen in the picture, just below the helicopter is #26.



There is a small ledge there where many parties bivi. Sitting on that ledge is a huge loose block that is tied in place with a bunch of old webbing. However I don't see how that block could cause this accident...?

I believe the pitch he fell of was the next #27. There are some loose flakes in that corner, just before one of the cleanest sections of rock on El Cap. Here is a pic of my partner on it:



This is extremely sad, yet I'm interested to learn what happened up there.
plasticmullet

climber
May 20, 2013 - 09:44am PT
Just comparing the photos, it looks like that long block your partner was standing on is no longer there??? Best thoughts for all involved.
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
May 20, 2013 - 09:46am PT
I talked to Mark a few minutes ago......The large block on the right of the photo... has some flakes stuck in it as you turn it on the left side. Mason had a cam behind one of those flakes and when he weighted it it levered the flake out and the cam came out. He fell past his partner and the block cut his lead line. He fell all the way to the end of the haul line (a static rope) and died instantly upon impact. .... I don't know what to write anymore............
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 20, 2013 - 09:49am PT
:(

thanks Tom
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 20, 2013 - 09:53am PT
There you go. It could have happened to anyone looking at that picture.

Very sad. This isn't a weather related thing, it is incredibly abrupt. These ones are harder to take.
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
May 20, 2013 - 10:09am PT
So sad. I really feel for the deceased person's family & friends. I am glad to hear that nobody else was badly injured as a rockfall like that sould have easily killed several more people.

I have personally experienced large loose features in El Cap & one time on Jolly Roger, I almost rode a huge, orange dagger down the cliff when it expanded on me 3 inches & gear started falling out below me. I was sure I was going to die right then, same scenario as this person on the Muir.

It's a fickle world out there. Enjoy your lives & loved ones while they're here. You may not get a tomorrow together.
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
May 20, 2013 - 10:10am PT
The large block on the right of the photo... has some flakes stuck in it as you turn it on the left side. Mason had a cam behind one of those flakes and when he weighted it it levered the flake out and the cam came out. He fell past his partner and the block cut his lead line.

Wow. That's a big block that has had generations of climbers nailing, nutting, and camming behind with no apparent ill effect. Who's ever going to guess that 'that' thing would pop? If that can go... it re-sets the bar of what can come loose.
Fletcher

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
May 20, 2013 - 10:15am PT
I'm so sorry. My thoughts and prayers go out to all. This has been and continues to be a tough couple of days. As others have related, I don't know what to say anymore. :-(

Eric
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 20, 2013 - 10:17am PT
I don't think it was that whole block that cut loose Gunkie...but a flake in the crack. Just going off what Tom said...

a horrible freak accident....dumbfounding.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 20, 2013 - 10:23am PT
it re-sets the bar of what can come loose.

Well, eventually it is all gonna go. For the relatively few times I've climbed
in Yosemite I've had two very close ones. One I was at the last hanging
belay just below Sickle Ledge when I heard a shout above. I looked directly up
and saw at least two refrigerator-sized blocks tumbling through space from
the Grey Bands directly towards us. I yelled down to Lasse, who was jugging,
to make himself very small. They hit at the 'bridge' of the Nose and exploded
into many microwave-sized blocks. A number passed just behind my head
and I felt the wind. You know they are big when they make a low sucking sound.
sharperblue

Mountain climber
San Francisco, California
May 20, 2013 - 10:23am PT
so sorry to hear the tragic news this morning; sincerest condolences to all involved directly and in the rescue/recovery. It's a stunningly beautiful day out there; don't forget to lie on your back and feel the sunshine on your face
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
May 20, 2013 - 10:24am PT
I don't think that whole flake slid out of there - you can see the top of it is near the end of that white water streak in the photo looking up at the climber. He appears to be standing on top of it. In the shots of the helicopter, there is something in the corner at the same spot that looks like that big flake, but it's in the shadow and the image is not super sharp. It would be good to know...

What a horrific fall scenario - deep sympathy to all involved, especially family.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 20, 2013 - 10:25am PT
Something big came loose, though. There was a large rockfall seen by many people. Something cut his rope, either pinched by the block, or just cut it over an edge although my guess is that it was severed by the block. He probably broke his back when he came to the end of the haul line. They'll do an autopsy and should be able to determine that. I always tied in to the haul line and always used an old lead rope for a haul line.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 20, 2013 - 10:25am PT
Condolences to those who will miss the fallen one.

I was almost there myself with Riley on Zodiac a few years ago. Another tiny inch here or there and no Baba on this planet. There was no predicting that the block was remotely loose. Sometimes it happens because it happens and the results are up to God/Chance.

Our story

http://www.yosemiteclimber.com/Zodiacarmandaleg.html

Peace

Karl
David Wilson

climber
CA
May 20, 2013 - 10:31am PT
So sad, my condolences to the families of the deceased and everyone involved. It really is a worst nightmare scenario.

I'm glad Jim, George and Mark and everyone else below were ok.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
May 20, 2013 - 10:32am PT
I spent the weekend climbing with a good friend and once again feel really inspired to climb. Then I wake up to this. A quote from my teacher comes to mind - "The finality of the mortal is an invitation to live".

in 1993 I was humping loads at the base of EC when a huge block missed me by 4 feet. That helpless feeling you'll never forget. It would have killed me instantly.

The tribe will never get use to events like this. We know it's part of the deal. It's been four years or so since I've been this inspired to climb. This will shake many of us to the core. But monkeys have to send!

Offering my deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Norwegian

Trad climber
the tip of god's middle finger
May 20, 2013 - 10:37am PT
with a dynamic haul line,
the leader could clip it into
a few good pieces on the pitch
and therefore have some redundancy.

the second would have to keep ahead of
the bag though.

Fletcher

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
May 20, 2013 - 10:38am PT
Thank you Nature. That means a lot.

Eric
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
May 20, 2013 - 10:41am PT
the quote from my teacher?
avid

Trad climber
sacramento, ca
May 20, 2013 - 10:41am PT
http://www.mymotherlode.com/news/local/2099669/Rock-Climber-Dies-In-Yosemite.html?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=News

TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
May 20, 2013 - 10:45am PT
Claire Mearnz and I were on top of Dolt Tower in early spring of 1985 when a huge rock fall came down directly all around us from somewhere near the summit. My estimate was the load would have at least filled a big Mac dump truck. Rocks were bounding all around us, too numerous to try dodging.

There was another party of two passing us, just starting the next pitch from Dolt Tower. It is unimaginable how we all got by with no injuries.

In the silence that followed we were all looking around at each other in the morning sunshine with wordless stunned awe. Only one word was spoken, by one of the other climbers, "Nightmare!" Then he just continued climbing.

And the day was so beautiful...There was nothing we could do about it. We all just took a deep breath and continued on with our day.

It's one of those moments I think about when waking up to a new day in the sunshine...
Hummerchine

Trad climber
East Wenatchee, WA
May 20, 2013 - 10:47am PT
Nauseating to hear this, feel horrible for all involved.

I have never liked the use of static lines in climbing...I can think of a few ways they can kill you, and I like having a spare lead rope along. In fact, on an ascent of The Shield years ago we brought two Stratos cut-resistant ropes, one for hauling. We brought way too much gear, used the lead rope as an extension over a ledge. The friction of a knot against granite nearly cut the rope through, I feel certain the Stratos saved our lives. We had to cut that rope and switch it with the haul rope, which saved our ascent.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
May 20, 2013 - 10:53am PT
http://www.mymotherlode.com/news/local/2099669/Rock-Climber-Dies-In-Yosemite.html?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=News


Yosemite - El Capitan
Enlarge
May 20, 2013 09:55 am
B.J. Hansen, MML News Director

Yosemite, CA -- A Montana man died from injuries sustained in a rock climbing accident over the weekend.

Yosemite officials report that Mason Robinson was climbing El Capitan with a friend on Sunday morning and he fell 230 ft. Robinson's rope did eventually catch him, but unfortunately he died from injuries sustained in the fall. Yosemite emergency crews were notified at 9:15am. Robinson was climbing on a rock, and officials believe the weight of his body pulled it loose and caused a rock slide.

Yosemite officials did not have the age of Robinson as of early this morning. His climbing partner was not injured.

Written by BJ Hansen
Fletcher

Trad climber
The great state of advaita
May 20, 2013 - 10:54am PT
Yes, Nature, the quote from your teacher for sure. But the general positivity of your spirit as well.

Eric
lubbockclimber

Trad climber
lubbock,tx
May 20, 2013 - 10:56am PT
Sad day for all. Sincere condolences.
We all know this is part of the game though. Me and my wife witnessed a horrible accident our first time ever climbing outside. We were at Enchanted rock, never climbed a day outside before this. We wondered up on a pair leading a long 5.9 slab route. After a short chat they offered a top rope on the route. We both cruises it and moved on climbers left and got on a easy multipitch sport route. As I'm bringing her up and just as she anchors in at the belay we notice somebody else has reached the top of the previous route we climbed. He sets up his rap leans back and falls to the bottom. He had forgotten to clip the rope and only clipped his belay device. He was dead at the scene. We both carry this with to this day and will likely never forget. You can never be too careful rather raping or climbing. Please be careful out there. So sorry to hear this. Positive vibes
to all involved from Texas.
Max
steveA

Trad climber
bedford,massachusetts
May 20, 2013 - 11:16am PT
So sorry to hear this news.

I'm glad Jim, George and Mark are O'K.

I never mentioned this on S.T. before; although Werner mentioned the accident
on another thread, since he sat next to me on the helicopter ride down from Half Dome.

I had a cam pull on me, which was wedged in a flake, about 6 pitches up the RNWF of Half Dome. I took a nasty fall shattering bones in my foot etc.

After rapping one pitch, my son and I heard a very faint yell of "rock". We looked up and saw what looked like a watermellon size rock heading straight for us. It was knocked off by another team near the top.

We were VERY lucky that we were positioned under a small overhang, when this bomb exploded right over our heads, hitting where we would of been, if I hadn't taken the fall.

In hind-sight it was good that I took that leader fall!

This unfortunate climber on the Muir and myself both had cams pull, placed behind flakes. I'll be back on The RNWF again in 3 weeks, and will keep this tragic accident in the back of my mind.

Be careful out there!
jmarty

climber
May 20, 2013 - 11:23am PT
Truly sad and tragic for our community. Condolences to the friends and family of the deceased and his climbing partner.
~5:00 PM, as we were watching from the meadow, a HUGE rockfall event occurred on the left side of El Cap, huge blocks breaking off and raining down into the trees below. It looked like these blocks broke off from up and left of the "heart". Hard to tell from that distance, but these blocks were very large, VW Bus sized.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
May 20, 2013 - 11:39am PT
Turned out my co-worker was in El Cap meadow around 5:30pm yesterday. She saw a helicopter in the meadow but did not know what was going on. Her husband saw a body dangling from the rope right at the top of El Cap, which was hauled up and disappeared (was hauled up probably) from the view shortly. They did not know he was dead (they did not have binoculars, are not climbers and have no clue how people get up to the top). She started asking me if when we climbed El Cap a helicopter takes us down, than I had to explain what happened. She started crying. Sad day to be there, hope everyone who witnessed this event are not only physically, but emotionally OK.
Originally I was supposed to climb the Nose with my friend Hamik and a few others (who were up there on the Nose yesterday, and hopefully psychologically ok to finish today), but since I been up it twice this year I decided to do something else. Glad I was not there yesterday. I would not take it very well. Last week a Russian climber dies on Everest, now this. Damn.
philo

Trad climber
Is that light the end of the tunnel or a train?
May 20, 2013 - 11:39am PT
His climbing partner was not injured.

Some wounds are not visible and take a lifetime to heal.
Deepest condolences to family and friends.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 20, 2013 - 11:48am PT
jmarty, that's a weird detail. The time of the rockfall you saw matches but left of the heart is really far from the top of the muir route. Donini's group was at the base of the nose and got rockfall all around them, so maybe that detail isn't right? But you saw the rockfall - are you sure of where it was? If there were microbus sized blocks coming down, there should be scars or at least something obvious missing. You don't think its possible those blocks came from the upper Muir? It's right next to the Nose.
nature

climber
Boulder, CO
May 20, 2013 - 11:48am PT
Eric - thanks and you're welcome.

very true regarding the wounds that are not visible.
mcbaker

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 20, 2013 - 11:50am PT
I saw the same blocks jmarty mentioned yesterday. Definitely left of the heart and closer to 5pm. Big stuff. Very visible from the meadow.
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
May 20, 2013 - 11:56am PT
Left of the Heart was a second rockfall. I expect unrelated to the first rock fall.
Michelle

Social climber
1187 Hunterwasser
May 20, 2013 - 11:58am PT
My condolences to the survivor(s) of this event and the family.
gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
May 20, 2013 - 11:59am PT
For clarity, there were two rockfalls from El Capitan yesterday. The first was from the Muir Wall and was climber-induced. The second occurred much later in the day from farther west-northwest (climber's left of the Heart) and was apparently naturally triggered. The two events were unrelated, but both emphasize the risk associated with rockfall.
socialclimber

Trad climber
CA
May 20, 2013 - 12:04pm PT
Thanks for that clarification Greg... conquistadores of the useless we are, but it is damn worth it. Condolences to the family of Mason and his partner Mark.

Charles
weezy

climber
May 20, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
Rest in peace, Mason.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
May 20, 2013 - 12:19pm PT
This has been a very dark weekend. After reading the El Cap pictures thread, I saw this thread. They put our rather trivial differences in stark perspective. Again, my condolences to all who were affected by either the Tahquitz or Muir Wall accidents -- which probably consists of most of the climbing community.

John
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 20, 2013 - 12:46pm PT
Sorry to hear about this accident (and the one at Tahquitz).
Below is a marked up version of Lambone's photo which should clarify the location of the loose flake in case the previous discussion was unclear.
Likely location of flake which cut lead rope in 5/19/2013 accident. <br/>
...
Likely location of flake which cut lead rope in 5/19/2013 accident.
But see Melissa's photo for a larger block out of this frame.
Credit: Lambone / Clint Cummins
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
May 20, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
A very rough 48 hours for the climbing community. Condolences to all who were part of these incidents directly and indirectly.

Drove up to Tuolumne on Friday and read about the horrible accident on Tahquitz. Then driving back yesterday stopped in Mammoth for dinner and read about the El Cap accident. Two terrible tragedies so close together.

RIP both Mason and Lucas.
Gal

Trad climber
a semi lucid consciousness
May 20, 2013 - 01:50pm PT
I'm so sorry to everyone involved ~ RIP Mason. This has been a bad weekend, did not know until today. I will be thinking of those who have been affected by this, and mourn the loss of a fellow climber(s). ~Catherine.
GoMZ

Trad climber
Eastern Sierra
May 20, 2013 - 01:54pm PT
Oh man, every climbers worse nightmare.

When I read of the location I thought maybe it was the block at the top of pitch 26. That thing was basically tied to the wall when we did this route in 2007. The actual circumstances are much more frightening. How many people have placed gear behind this time bomb (recently even).

So sad to read about this loss. So sorry for all that knew him, he sounds like he was a fine young man.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 20, 2013 - 02:25pm PT
To Mason's friends and family ... My deepest sympathies.

Anyone with a photo of Mason it would be greatly appreciated.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
May 20, 2013 - 03:38pm PT
It appears Mason was a solid and experienced wall climber.

RIP brother

Better days the way he should be remembered, From 10/22/11 ElCap Report. Solo of 3d. A few days later he did Zodiac.



Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 20, 2013 - 03:50pm PT
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Looking good Mason!!!!
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
May 20, 2013 - 03:56pm PT
It appears this family has suffered this tragedy before. So very shocking. I am at a loss for words.

http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/columbia_falls_climber_dies_in_fall_on_yosemites_el_capitan/33529/

In 1998, Robison’s brother, Mark, who was also an experienced climber, died while attempting to summit Rainbow Peak in Glacier National Park. Also killed in that accident was Chris Foster, of Whitefish. The climbers were several hundred feet from the summit, climbing a snow-covered chimney when they fell to their death.

PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
May 20, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
Damn.

Thanks for the research Derek!

RIP and condolences to family and friends.
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 20, 2013 - 04:03pm PT
I'm so deeply sorry for all affected by this tragedy.
Nanook

climber
May 20, 2013 - 04:05pm PT
Rest in Peace brother Mason. Much, much Love!

I met Mason a few years ago. It was November I think and awful weather in the Valley. The storm broke in the evening so I decided to go down and walk up to El Cap to get some exercise and check out the near full Moon and nearby Venus. As I"m walking up to the base of the Nose using my headlamp I hear a monkey call. The Valley was so deserted I couldn't believe my ears so I hooted back and walked up to Pine Line ledge where Mason was scoping routes and enjoying a few beers. Kinda grim climbing weather I said, as he rattled off potential route choices, all very low angle and in the elements. Ah, this isn't that bad man, says M, you should take up alpine climbing--then you really have to climb some gnarly sh#t. We kept in touch the last couple years and were excited to climb this trip.


M texted me from the wall. He was so stoked! I think that's what he texted me in all caps, SO STOKED! So I take solace knowing that he was loving every minute of his last dance.

Here is a topo of Muir wall if you want to look:

http://yosemitebigwall.com/muir-wall

Also, local photographer Kristal Leonard took some amazing shots of El Cap Friday night, and wanted to share them with Mason's family if anyone could pass that info along. Kristal can be found on fb or google.
norm larson

climber
wilson, wyoming
May 20, 2013 - 04:12pm PT
So very sad. Sometimes after an accident you can see all the mistakes that led to it, not here, with this kind of accident it brings it home how it could have been any of us on any day we go climbing. Amazing that no one else was hit below... My heart goes out to the friends and family and to Mason's partner. Peace.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
May 20, 2013 - 04:28pm PT
From the amt. of rockfall reported, I have to wonder if when the flake pulled he fell onto the BS on the right and pulled it off before the rope was cut. It's hard to imagine so much up in the crack. Please let me know if you think it would be best take the picture down, and I will.

I don't think there's anything wrong with your picture being posted, Melissa. We all would like to know what happened, and I read a lot of folks on this thread wanting to make sense out of this. It may turn out that it was simply the day that the flake pulled, for no reason that can be explained. I was thinking the same thing about the amount of rockfall being reported, versus Clint's diagram suggesting the flake that pulled. It seems possible that more rock was knocked off in Mason's fall than just the flake. One would think that YOSAR may be able to shed some light on this, based on how far away from the harness the rope was cut. One might speculate that if it was the rock on the right in your picture that cut the rope, the rope would have been cut at some length from the harness.

Two sons lost to climbing is just too much to ponder. My God. My most sincere condolences go out to the friends and family of Mason, and in particular to his parents.

Brad White
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 20, 2013 - 04:48pm PT
My thoughts also. Clint's yellow arrow points at a crack between a big block and the wall. I think he means there was a small flake inside that crack. But this doesnt explain where the rockfall came from. You are probably right, the cracked rock on the right side of the photo may have all come apart. Maybe Tom Evans can take a picture to show what it looks like now, and we can make a comparison. I dont think it's morbid - we have to analyze accidents to be able to avoid them ourselves.
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
May 20, 2013 - 04:51pm PT
Give it time, our resident Valley geologist will chime in when it's appropriate.
Captain...or Skully

climber
May 20, 2013 - 04:55pm PT
Sorry to hear of things sometimes. condolences.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
May 20, 2013 - 05:03pm PT
hey there say, melissa... it may be hard? to understand more--i was thinking as to the noise that mark mentioned, as an 'explosion'...

perhaps a huge boulder? smashed on impact somewhere, going down?? and 'rained' downward, with more rockfall?
to make such a noise?--does anyone know, how that would be?
different than usual rockslides, or not?
i could not understand how else, the noise came, :(

perhaps photos, later, may show things that are missing? from that part of el cap?

i don't understand these things, either, though--and since mark was there, i tried to, the other night--concerning ALL the climbers, not just my brother...

i understand that it won't make things any safer for folks, knowing, but it helps ease the pain, for those that know those that die, mason, in this case,
by setting their mind to stop 'racing through the event' and be able to let it rest with some kind of resolved end...


dear family, you are in my prayers, for the pain you are going through, and may help you through the years, as you go onward, without your loved one... :(
klaus

Big Wall climber
Pacif*#ka Muthaf*#ka
May 20, 2013 - 05:06pm PT
how tragic and sad. I have to wonder if he was wearing a helmet (was he? I don't know) and had a dynamic haul line, could he have survived the fall?

I was nailing a block the size of a mini fridge years ago when it departed from the wall and sent me for a 30 footer. It cut my arm but, not the rope. scariest climbing fall I ever had. It really spooked me.

rip Mason
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 20, 2013 - 05:17pm PT
The cliffs are in constant transition, so one could never make El Cap "safe".

That said, it could be made safer with a concerted effort.



I have always thought that a similar project on a much smaller scale SHOULD be done on Yellow Spur.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 20, 2013 - 05:24pm PT
Yes, I wonder the same thing about the static haul line.
Although on the Bob Locke accident on Mt. Watkins, he took a longer fall,
then the lead line broke after a delay and he fell probably 50m and was caught by the (likely dynamic) haul line.
He still died.
It depends on what you hit, but in a long fall, broken ribs lead to a punctured lung, blood in the lungs, and tension pneumothorax.
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/444343/Bob-Locke-Memorial-Buttress-Mt-Watkins-Story
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 20, 2013 - 05:26pm PT
In Melissa's photo there is a large flake that looks like it is slung. Is it possible a that in a large fall that could have pulled? If that is the case it looks like it would likely land on the rope.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 20, 2013 - 05:28pm PT
Yes, that was Melissa's point.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#303772
Likely location of flake which cut lead rope in 5/19/2013 accident. <br/>
...
Likely location of flake which cut lead rope in 5/19/2013 accident.
But see Melissa's photo for a larger block out of this frame.
Credit: Lambone / Clint Cummins
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
May 20, 2013 - 05:28pm PT
An effort to eliminate killer blocks would probably have to originate from a logbook kept in the SAR site - kinda like the nut book was kept long ago which informed other climbers when a route had been done hammerless. Some kind of rating system might be in order for the severity of the hazard. Then climbers planning on doing the route not only would be warned, but under the right circumstances possibly assisted by YOSAR, in the form of clearing the base, before trundling the problem.

Rapping down specifically to send loose blocks seems a bit far fetched, but it could be worked into training maybe? Didn't the loose block on Freerider just get sent by climbers on the route?

Just trying to spin something positive out of these hellish events...
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 20, 2013 - 05:34pm PT
We routinely trundle loose stuff when doing new routes, but they are in remote places with nobody below.
As we know, trundling has also killed and maimed people.
If done with a proper "ground crew", it can be done safely, though.
On El Cap, Donini et al witnessed how far debris can spread out when something breaks up high - it could be complicated and require closing a large area (maybe for a short amount of time, though).
Although when we hear more about the second (larger) rockfall on Sunday, we might wonder how much we would reduce the risks.

As for sharing information on loose rock hazards, we already have the beta section of this website. I don't see much recently on hazards on the Muir Wall:
http://www.supertopo.com/rock-climbing/route_beta.php?r=ybelmuir
Back in 1998 when I did it, we read recent trip reports to get an understanding of the difficult sections, as people still do.
SalNichols

Big Wall climber
Richmond, CA
May 20, 2013 - 05:35pm PT
There's a big difference between the visible pieces and the path of the lead rope in Lambone's pic and Melissa's pic. Is this a difference due to nailing vs a "clean" ascent at the same point? Lambone's partner clearly has a point low in the main corner, vs up in the trash as shown in Melissa's pic. I'd like to see as many pics as possible of the same point in the most recent (say 2 yrs) ascents, including what the corner looks like now.

You monkeys need to understand the dynamics of this accident, because it could have gone off on anyone.

If Mason's passing teaches us all something, then his loss won't be a complete waste.

Peace.
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
May 20, 2013 - 05:41pm PT
I had a fitful sleep last night, my dreams were peppered with rock fall and death...I woke up feeling very out of sorts...

My thoughts go out to Mason's climbing partner, YOSAR's and all those who witness this tragedy.

Sending my deepest condolences to Mason's friends and Family.. ..





Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 20, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
Trying to pry all the loose blocks off of the popular routes is a Sisyphean task if there ever was one.
coz

Gym climber
Belmont
May 20, 2013 - 05:45pm PT
I remember that block on the Nose, that almost killed a lot of people. Dill said we should cut it lose, I don't know 30 years ago.

Kevin, it's a good idea but you're dealing with the Park Service, and they lack the required brains for anything so simple.

The Upper Muir is directly above the Nose, so Jim didn't experience random rock fall.

I won't even bring my dog to the base with parties in that area. It's a death zone, on the start of the Nose.

Anyway, sad deal for sure, there is some big stuff up there ready to come off, obviously.





manzanita man

Social climber
somerset, ca.
May 20, 2013 - 05:56pm PT
sorry for those affected. RIP
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
May 20, 2013 - 06:02pm PT
klaus
I have to wonder if he was wearing a helmet (was he? I don't know)

I thought I could see a helmet but it was not on his head after the fall. It appeared there was a helmet off to one side.

I got a very close up look at the situation. Hoping I might be able to help by observation. A lot was trying to be pieced together in the early minutes of this tragedy. Hope that he might come to and start moving like Ammon did. Sadly help was not possible. Part of me wants to share or vent more but there is no point to it in a public forum.

For friends and family perhaps it will help to know that there was absolutely no suffering.
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 20, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
There's a big difference between the visible pieces and the path of the lead rope in Lambone's pic and Melissa's pic. Is this a difference due to nailing vs a "clean" ascent at the same point? Lambone's partner clearly has a point low in the main corner, vs up in the trash...

Pretty certain my partner just went more straight up that corner vs into that stuff to the right. And we definately didn't sling that ugly block. Not that it matters but this pitch went clean.

Of course, I can't comment on what Mason did.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
May 20, 2013 - 06:42pm PT
Just talked to Marc, Mason's partner. They are (were) both friends though I know Marc much more, having climbed together years. He is driving back to Montana as I type this and I can't imagine how difficult it is now.

Perhaps he'll chime in on the thread when he gets home and maybe give some accuracy to the photos of the flake, etc.

Arne
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 20, 2013 - 06:45pm PT
my deepest sympathy to Mark and to Mason's family and friends
what tragedy
johnnyrebel

Trad climber
heart of Texas
May 20, 2013 - 06:47pm PT
condolences to friends and family
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 20, 2013 - 06:47pm PT
....driving back to Montana as I type this...

alone? omg...worst drive ever...
slobmonster

Trad climber
OAK (nee NH)
May 20, 2013 - 06:48pm PT
Terrible, petrifying, and awful. I've been thinking about this incident all day, and I know I'm not alone. Take care of each other, people.
alleyehave

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
May 20, 2013 - 07:21pm PT
I've been pondering the haul line question as well. I, like most people use a static haul line...That might change.

Condolences to his family, partner, friends as well as all YOSAR personnel involved.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
May 20, 2013 - 07:30pm PT
I had a fitful sleep last night, my dreams were peppered with rock fall and death...I woke up feeling very out of sorts...

My thoughts go out to Mason's climbing partner, SAR's and all those who witness this tragedy.

Me too. Between this and other recent incidents, it is just hard to focus on the mundane daily BS.

John Penca
Lennox

climber
just southwest of the center of the universe
May 20, 2013 - 07:35pm PT
Condolences to all of Mason's friends and family.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 20, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
RIP please Mason!
And so very sorry for all the family and loved ones and especially Mason's partner.
My heart is with the climbing community at large this tragic week...
Much love to everyone ...

This is the same scenario that occurred with Karl and I a few years ago.
It's becomes more of a miracle to me everyday in that case that a block that cut cams in half like butter only severed the sheath of the rope ... Just lucky the rope rolled a little.

From the pictures of this accident it's scary to see how easily this occurred....The rope traversing under the fall line as it does seems like an accident waiting to happen in hindsight- yet we have all had the same scenario occur more time than not while climbing. Still considering the size of the block that didn't cut my rope this one must have been massive or it nailed the rope perfectly.

So sorry
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
May 20, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
Heartfelt condolence to family, friends, and partner and all involved in the
rescue. Such events and the people who have left us are never forgotten.
WTF

climber
May 20, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
Sad!

When I did the Muir in the 90s there was a huge pancake flake just below the dihedral it was a dinner table size piece it was so scary that we could never determine how it was attached and we were puckered to say the least as we passed it. In fact my partner refused to get near it and faced climbed to the left resulting in a no pro way run out hard face climb.

It's been debated for years static haul lines or dynamic. It's nice to not have the stretch of a dynamic but if you cut your lead line and fall I would rather have the dynamic haul line then the blunt force of a static line fall of that length.

A fall where he fell would almost surely result in hitting the small ledge at the base of the dihedral.

Thoughts n prayers go out to his friends and family.
WBraun

climber
May 20, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
Mark seemed to me to completely have his sh!t together.

From what I observed from him after he came to the top.
WBraun

climber
May 20, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
Mark had these really wild slash fabric burns down his pants that exposed his legs from the rope oscillating across his pants.
Nilepoc

Big Wall climber
Tx
May 20, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
Discription of incident at elcap report.com

http://www.elcapreport.com/content/elcap-report-52013

Static haul line was on his chest harness. Horrible thoughts reading that, causing me to shudder as I have done this in the past. I feel for the victims, their families and friends.

Thank you to supertopo regulars for helping make sense of this tragedy.

RIP Mason
ElCapPirate

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Topic Author's Reply - May 20, 2013 - 08:57pm PT
Thanks for all that you do Werner.

Condolences to family, friends and all of the climbing community. I didn't know Mason well but he always stuck in my memory of being super psyched and ready to take life by the horns.

Respect and love to you bro... and those who have fallen in the past, living their dreams and following their passions.

moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
May 20, 2013 - 09:01pm PT
Just talked to a friend of Masons in the community of Polebridge where Mason has many friends...They are sitting around a bonfire hoisting a few pints as I wright...He will be dearly missed...........RIP Mason...Your friend.......

Stevo
hlehmann

Trad climber
San Fernando Valley
May 20, 2013 - 09:06pm PT
Werner you have my admiration for the work you do. I still owe you a Pearibiner.
kristal22

Social climber
Yosemite
May 20, 2013 - 09:12pm PT
El Capitan by moonlight, Friday, May 17, 2013
El Capitan by moonlight, Friday, May 17, 2013
Credit: kristal22

Hi there,
I'm a local photographer in Yosemite and I was out shooting El Capitan on Friday night by moonlight from the meadow. I wanted to get a shot of El Cap and the climber's lights with some meadow irises in the moonlight. I used my headlamp to play "flash your lights at me!!!!" with the climbers up there, and I'm sure they played "stop making us flash our lights at you, we're trying to sleep!!" It's something I always enjoy doing at night when I see them up there and it makes me feel connected to someone whom I don't know. It reminds me that I'm not alone out there and I like to think that it reminds them they are not alone either, even if we're separated by thousands of feet and a lot of balls!
When someone dies, people usually talk about how great that person was and what they accomplished in their lives, but mostly they just remember the connection they had with them. I didn't know the climber I was playing flashlights with on Friday night and who died on El Capitan early Sunday morning, but for a short time that night, we connected through blinking flashlights as we both pursued our love of the outdoors and a passion for our hobbies. Thanks for playing with me and I dedicate this image of you up there to you, Mason Robison.
I'm posting this because I hoping it will lend a little bit of comfort to his friends and family when they see the beauty he was surrounded by doing what he loved!
Kristal Leonard
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 20, 2013 - 09:33pm PT
Haunting...Mark and Mason's light is clearly visible on the Muir.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
May 20, 2013 - 09:43pm PT
This has been a tragic weekend for the community. I lost my best friend on Friday. Whoever is affected, please feel free to email me or message me on facebook. We gotta stick together.

Greg


Sorry you are having a bad time, Greg. Life is gentle, and we take it for granted. Most of us.

Sometimes our best friends get taken from us. Let us not ask God why he did that. It was his decision.

Woody, looks and laughs at us now. Johnny Bachar, he laughs too. And they wait for us to embrace them.

Sometimes we go home....
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
May 20, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
Yeah, Joey.F commented on that light as we picked our way down the Cathedral gully. :(
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
May 20, 2013 - 09:52pm PT
Hang loose, Mark, there are kids in Oklahoma who beg for your prayers.

Good to see you and Joey getting out too!


Cheers!
covelocos

Trad climber
Nor Cal
May 20, 2013 - 10:06pm PT
I used my headlamp to play "flash your lights at me!!!!"
Credit: covelocos
This is us on Snake Dike, climbing by moon light. Little did we know that someone on Glacier Point was photographing us (playing 'flash your lights'). We met the photographers friend on the summit. Quite a memorable pic. Deepest condolences to all involved.

eliot carlsen

Social climber
San Francisco
May 20, 2013 - 10:10pm PT
Such a tragic event. Deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mason.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
May 20, 2013 - 10:21pm PT
Kristal22, that's a beautiful photo. Thank you for posting.
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
May 21, 2013 - 12:28am PT
This thread is so bittersweet. I've read it...many times now and come back for updates.

Kristal's pic of the night before under an El Cap meadow moon playing headlights with Mason and Mark far up on El Cap. Beautiful and thanks for sharing it with us.

Tom Evans pic of the day before in his in his roundup of them up hanging out on the wall letting Madeleine Sorkin work out the stemming pitch. http://www.elcapreport.com/content/elcap-report-51813

Eric Sloane's text from Mason while he was on the wall of the words "SO STOKED."

Mason and Mark were obviously having the time of their lives up there fun wise Now Mason is gone and Mark is driving home to Montana with the experience of Sunday morning so fresh still.

Hard to make sense of it all but realize everything really can change on a dime.

RIP Mason Robison and Mark, you're in all of our thoughts.


RJNakata

Trad climber
SoCal
May 21, 2013 - 12:37am PT
Please let these tragedies stop.
May you find peace Mason.
Leggs

Sport climber
Is this a trick question?
May 21, 2013 - 01:08am PT
Hi there,
I'm a local photographer in Yosemite and I was out shooting El Capitan on Friday night by moonlight from the meadow. I wanted to get a shot of El Cap and the climber's lights with some meadow irises in the moonlight. I used my headlamp to play "flash your lights at me!!!!" with the climbers up there, and I'm sure they played "stop making us flash our lights at you, we're trying to sleep!!" It's something I always enjoy doing at night when I see them up there and it makes me feel connected to someone whom I don't know. It reminds me that I'm not alone out there and I like to think that it reminds them they are not alone either, even if we're separated by thousands of feet and a lot of balls!
When someone dies, people usually talk about how great that person was and what they accomplished in their lives, but mostly they just remember the connection they had with them. I didn't know the climber I was playing flashlights with on Friday night and who died on El Capitan early Sunday morning, but for a short time that night, we connected through blinking flashlights as we both pursued our love of the outdoors and a passion for our hobbies. Thanks for playing with me and I dedicate this image of you up there to you, Mason Robison.
I'm posting this because I hoping it will lend a little bit of comfort to his friends and family when they see the beauty he was surrounded by doing what he loved!
Kristal Leonard

Thank you for sharing this... your words and stunning photo.

~peace to all
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
May 21, 2013 - 02:40am PT
dusting off the family bible,

too much too soon,

see you in church next Sunday
Norwegian

Trad climber
the tip of god's middle finger
May 21, 2013 - 04:11am PT
once you die,
it's sad that you'll never get to
lead another 5.9 finger crack,
or dance with a beautiful stranger,
or watch a sunrise from your bivy.

on the other emotion,
you'll never have to witness another war,
or learn about senseless murders,
or weed eat a dry field,
or endure a back injury.

death slaps it's suitors across the face,
but it also alleviates their future sorrow and suffering.
John Butler

Social climber
SLC, Utah
May 21, 2013 - 06:00am PT
There’s a man goin’ round takin’ names.
There’s a man goin’ round takin names.
He has taken my brother’s name,
and he’s left my heart in pain.
There’s a man goin’ round takin’ names.
Oh death is that man takin’ names.

- Shelton Johnson interpreting a traditional spiritual -
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 21, 2013 - 07:12am PT
Maybe this song is a bit much, but it was my go-to when two of my wall partners passed away.

http://www.phishtracks.com/shows/1995-11-16/lifeboy

Lifeboy

Swinging on the lifeline
Fraying bits of twine
Entangled in the remnants of the
Knot I left behind
And asking you to help me make it
Finally unwind

But God never listens to what I say
God never listens to what I say
And you don't get a refund
If you overpray

And when the line is breaking
And when I'm near the end
When all the time spent leading
I've been following instead
When all my thoughts and memories are
Left hanging by a thread

God never listens...
Stranded on this slender string
The minutes seem to last a lifetime
Dangling here between the light above
And blue below that drags me down

But God never listens to what I say
God never listens to what I say
And you don't get a refund
If you overpray
10b4me

Ice climber
Soon 2B Arizona
May 21, 2013 - 07:17am PT
Kristal, that photo of El Cap is fantastic, as is the one of Half Dome.
Bldrjac

Ice climber
Boulder
May 21, 2013 - 07:20am PT
So sorry for Mason's family and friends. Philo, you nailed it. Our lives can change in an instant, and sometimes there is simply no real recovery. Time doesn't necessarily heal wounds.......it just goes on, and sometimes you have to keep up.
My heart goes out.........
pam
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 21, 2013 - 07:44am PT
When someone dies, people usually talk about how great that person was and what they accomplished in their lives, but mostly they just remember the connection they had with them. I didn't know the climber I was playing flashlights with on Friday night and who died on El Capitan early Sunday morning, but for a short time that night, we connected through blinking flashlights as we both pursued our love of the outdoors and a passion for our hobbies. Thanks for playing with me and I dedicate this image of you up there to you, Mason Robison.

Awesome. Thanks.
eKat

Mountain climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
May 21, 2013 - 07:53am PT
TheTacoStand is so much like life itself
We get the highest of highs
We get the lowest of lows
We cheer each other on
And we cry as one

Peace to all!

oxoxoxo

Kath
BooDawg

Social climber
Butterfly Town
May 21, 2013 - 08:35am PT
Since night before last when I learned of this and the Tahquitz tragedies, I have been in a state of shocked silence, trying to make sense of these horrific events. Reading the responses here, feeling our collective losses, and taking in the wisdom of all of you who have posted here has brought me a sense of comprehension, healing, and gratitude.

I’m sending out sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased and heart-felt thanks to the YOSAR team…

I’d like to offer a couple of poems which may help others to find meaning and healing in these events and perhaps help others to live their lives more fully and meaningfully each day…


FOR ONE LATELY BEREFT

Though now you are bereft and ways seem black,
With emptiness and gloom on every hand;
Someday Times healing touch will lead you back,
And gradually your heart will understand
That what you bore must come to one and all,
And Peace, the clean white flower born of pain,
Will slowly, surely, rise from sorrow's pall,
And happiness will come to you again.

-MARGARET E. BRUNER


PARTING

If thou dost bid thy friend farewell,
But for one night though that farewell may be,
Press thou his hand in thine.
How canst thou tell how far from thee
Fate or caprice may lead his steps ere that tomorrow comes?
Men have been known to lightly turn the corner of a street,
And days have grown to months, and months to lagging years,
Ere they have looked in loving eyes again.
Parting, at best, is underlaid
With tears and pain.
Therefore, lest sudden death should come between,
Or time, or distance, clasp with pressure firm
The hand of him who goeth forth;
Unseen, Fate goeth too.
Yes, find thou always time to say some earnest word
Between the idle talk,
Lest with thee henceforth,
Night and day, regret should walk.

-COVENTRY PATMORE
namascar

Trad climber
Pasadena, CA
May 21, 2013 - 08:41am PT
Looking down from above the block
Looking down from above the block
Credit: namascar

Condolences to family and friends.

I include in this note a picture taken from above the block, taken in 2005.
nopantsben

climber
May 21, 2013 - 08:59am PT
so sad. condolences to mason's family and friends.
i'm sure my friends in the valley had rough days as well and more are ahead. i'm thinking of you, and wish you the best.
JOEY.F

Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
May 21, 2013 - 09:09am PT
Saw the headlamps Friday night with murcy, heard the choppers on Sunday. Such sad news, condolences to masons friends and family.
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
May 21, 2013 - 09:23am PT
Looking down in that pic.....
His belayer had to have had a guardian angel nearby that day.
He looks to be right in the path of the falling rock/climber.
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
May 21, 2013 - 09:35am PT
Kristal, thanks for the beautiful picture and words on this sad occasion.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
May 21, 2013 - 09:38am PT
It doesn't sound like there were any flashlite games played by Marc & Mason. Must have been somebody else but beautiful photos nonetheless and they were obviously using their headlamps. Doesn't matter but I didn't want any family left with false understandings.

Yeah, Marc's drive back home alone can only be imagined. We'll see how he does; a dear friend to many here in Kalispell/Whitefish.

Arne
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
May 21, 2013 - 09:42am PT
Sorry to change anyone's perspective but it doesn't sound like there were any flashlite games played by Mark & Mason. Must have been somebody else. Doesn't matter but I didn't want any family left with false understandings.

Yeah, Mark's drive back home alone can only be imagined. We'll see how he does; a dear friend to many here in Kalispell/Whitefish.

Arne

Don't be a killjoy dude. Just leave it be.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
May 21, 2013 - 10:34am PT
Two very visible lights on the upper nose but there is a light on the Muir at the 26 pitch clearly visible.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
May 21, 2013 - 11:04am PT
Paul,

I have directed Masons family to this thread and they shouldn't be misled about his final moments. Harmless, yes probably but I would want accuracy.

Arne
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
May 21, 2013 - 11:05am PT
^^^^^^^
Agreed
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
May 21, 2013 - 11:17am PT
Paul,

I have directed Masons family to this thread and they shouldn't be misled about his final moments. Harmless, yes probably but I would want accuracy.

Arne

So how do you know that is not what happened?
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
May 21, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Because Marc told me dude. Leave it.
roy

Social climber
NZ -> SB,CA -> Zurich
May 21, 2013 - 11:49am PT
This is very tragic news. My thoughts go out to the friends and family of Mason. There are some very touching tributes posted here.
Roy
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
May 21, 2013 - 12:40pm PT
Is it the big slab in Namascar's photo that came down? That's a big rock and looks solid in the photo.
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 21, 2013 - 12:44pm PT
no, we believe not. Just a small flake that was wedged in the crack next to the first big roof on the pitch.

It doesn't take much.
ag.Fox

Trad climber
Reno, NV
May 21, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
My deepest condolences to Mason's friends and family in this time of loss. I hope my partner will be as solid as Mark if (when) I find myself in Mason's shoes.
We live to love and be loved. We live life to the fullest in hopes the tribe remembers our expressions of love. Remember love lost, as it sweetens our memories however painful
Live for what you love without regrets. Please, express your love to those who share your time in what you love now - for tomorrow brings no promises.
Kind Regards,
Jon
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
May 21, 2013 - 03:02pm PT
Rock & Ice is saying the small rock (block?) dislodged the larger one that freaked everyone at the base;

The dislodged-block reportedly caused more rock-fall, which continued down the wall and narrowly missed climbers who were on the start of the Nose.

I suppose the haul line could have pulled something down, like those flakes lower down in other photos. Anyway, RIP Mason.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
May 21, 2013 - 03:23pm PT
So sad.

There are some very scary places on the Big Stone, with lots of loose flakes.
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
May 21, 2013 - 05:56pm PT
I have gotten an email from mark correcting information about the set up of the ropes on mason and have made changes on the ElCap report to reflect the new information.
crankster

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 21, 2013 - 06:15pm PT
Acceptable risk. Every climber considers it. Mason, no doubt, did as well. He was a skilled climber, easily up to the challenge of the Muir. He placed a cam in a spot hundreds of climbers had before him. But nature had other plans. He caught a horrible break when the dislodged rock cut his lead rope. No training could have prevented it. It was just a sad, tragic accident. I am so sorry for him, Mark, their families and friends. Please know that the climbing community is in a collective state of mourning. It could have happened to any of us.
JohnnyG

climber
May 21, 2013 - 07:27pm PT
My sincerest condolences to Mason's friends and family.

This is an amazing thread. So incredibly, unbearably sad. A tribute to great person, doing something he loved.
michael robison

Social climber
columbia falls montana
May 21, 2013 - 08:35pm PT
Thanks to everyone in the Yosemite valley (youtube clmbr4lyfe) if you would like to see some of mason Robisons adventures.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 21, 2013 - 08:41pm PT
http://www.youtube.com/user/clmbr4lyfe

Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 21, 2013 - 09:02pm PT
It's obvious from those videos that Mason was loving life and in his element up on the big stone.

Thanks for posting.

RIP Monkey!
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
May 21, 2013 - 10:25pm PT
Thanks Michael. This helps, seeing him so totally happy.

I hope your family finds what peace and good that may be possible in this time....
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
May 22, 2013 - 07:16am PT
Been trippin on life/death all week after the recent accidents this last week.
Thanks for posting the videos, good to see Mason in a different light for those that didn't know him. Hope you are smiling where ever your soul may be Mason. Hope family and friends are coping the best they can with this loss.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 22, 2013 - 07:23am PT
You all know that this accident is a "there but for the grace of God go I" type of thing. It could have happened to any of us.

Yes, the vids are great.

So sad.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
May 22, 2013 - 07:29am PT
Thanks Clint for posting up the video. Puts a face to the name. All the best to his family and friends.

Plaid
10b4me

Ice climber
Soon 2B Arizona
May 22, 2013 - 07:33am PT
Seems like Mason truly loved life.
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
May 22, 2013 - 07:39am PT
Very true Mark, that is why I have personally been trippin on this stuff. Not a bad thing to think about IMO, just makes me realize to actually live life like it was your last day, everyday.
Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
May 22, 2013 - 07:44am PT
A friend of mine said to me, "We enter the wilderness to escape the realm of man. We enter the wilderness knowing that we are in control of our own destiny, and for lack of a natural disaster or animal attack we control everything. It's the realm of man that the uncontrolled variables present themselves where even walking along the sidewalk you are hedging your bets that that guy driving and texting won't run your ass over."

Sounds like Mason embraced his love of climbing, and love of the wilderness.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
May 22, 2013 - 08:02am PT
as taken from prior video
as taken from prior video
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
May 22, 2013 - 08:19am PT
My sincere condolences to his friends and family.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
May 22, 2013 - 08:35am PT
Those videos, especially the one of the Triple Direct are really cool. Mason was clearly in his element on El Cap, and was truly enjoying himself. For all of us struggling so hard with the fact that this could have happened to anyone up there, Mason has given us a gift in reminding us how joyful being up there can be. Let's try not to forget that. Thanks Mason.

I am sure that I have crossed paths with Mason, seeing his picture. Too many pitches, and too much senility to remember when or where. Valley?? Cody??

Rest in peace, Mason.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
May 22, 2013 - 09:59am PT
Rest In Peace Mason.
Fly swiftly into the sun.

Credit: survival

Tell your loved ones how you feel.
eKat

Mountain climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
May 22, 2013 - 10:15am PT

Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
May 22, 2013 - 10:48am PT
Devastating.

WRT sending teams up to clear routes of loose material... Seems to me cutting something up high loose could create a new set of loose material lower down ("A" hits "B" and loosens/shatters it. "A" continues to the base but "B" sits waiting for its moment) that would be yet another ticking time bomb. A never-ending task to be sure and one that does not make a lot of sense to me.
Rosamond

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
May 22, 2013 - 10:48am PT
Rest Well, Mason. Because tomorrow's another Climbing day for you in the other world. We'll see you up on the mother stone of our dreams, and eventually, we'll all be bouldering together again.

telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
May 22, 2013 - 12:34pm PT

Hello everyone. Marc Venery here. I was Mason's partner on the Muir Wall. I met with Mason's family today, and it was a very emotional process relating to them the events of this accident. I asked them if it would be OK for me to post this photo of Mason, and they thought it was a great idea. They are following this thread, and they appreciate the kind words and support from the climbing community. Thanks to YOSAR for an incredibly efficient response to this tragedy.

RIP Mason.

Mason Robison, Muir Wall May 2013
Mason Robison, Muir Wall May 2013
Credit: telemon01
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 22, 2013 - 12:39pm PT
Every big wall climber can totally relate to that photo. We've all been there, we all love being there and it's obvious Mason did too.
FrankZappa

Trad climber
Hankster's crew
May 22, 2013 - 12:41pm PT
Thanks, and sincere condolences to all.

It could have happened to anyone climbing up there.
It's almost happened to me a few times. Sobering...
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
May 22, 2013 - 12:45pm PT
Wow. Powerful.

Telemon, come back when you feel up to it.

Thanks to the family for blessing this thread. Keep it respectful team.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
May 22, 2013 - 12:49pm PT
Great, finally, Mason as a person and not merely a casualty.

Thanks Marc.
Take care.
The Chief

climber
Climber from the Land Mongols under the Whites
May 22, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
We all need to remember that deep and powerful smile on Mason's face. He loved every second of where he was and doing.

He is now with all the rest of the Big Wally Boys and Girls. Having a blast on infinite peaceful Walls.

TFPU that shot of Mason.
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
May 22, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
Thanks for the picture and work on healing yourself.

There are a lot of thoughts and warm feelings for Mason's friends and family, for what its worth.

RIP
labrat

Trad climber
Auburn, CA
May 22, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
Thank you Marc for posting the wonderful photo. Good thoughts going your way.
Erik
Aimee D

Social climber
Seattle
May 22, 2013 - 01:20pm PT
Thank you all so much for sharing here. I'm not part of the climbing community but I knew Mason and his brothers a little in high school, and we all grew up with his family. They are the kindest people and I wish I knew what to say about this huge loss.

Is there a charity or something that we can donate to in honor of Mason and his family?
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
May 22, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Well done, Marc. I think we all needed that.
r2d2

Trad climber
East Bay
May 22, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
What a smile! Mason truly lived. Climb on, Mason!
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
May 22, 2013 - 01:26pm PT
I've been reading through this and the account on Tom's site... It's all very sad and difficult to know what to say.

I did the Muir back in 96 and just remember it as fun. Given Marc's ability and experience, it shows how fickle our hold on life can be.

Condolences to friends and family - I'm sure he would want you all to heal quick.

Regards,

Steve
ElCapPirate

Big Wall climber
Reno, Nevada
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
Thanks for posting the photo Marc. Sorry you had to experience such a tragic day... and loss.

I have had many close calls following my passions. I look back at some of the events that took place and chalk it up to luck that I survived. I could have easily been in Mason's shoes, many times.

It's hard to explain why we put ourselves at risk. It's just.. what makes us happy and if we don't follow our dreams then we don't feel fully alive. Perspective on life slaps you right in the face when contemplating a hard or dangerous move. The love for my family and friends and the love I have for them becomes crystal clear. It becomes the only thing that matters.

Love and respect to you, Marc... and the same goes to Mason's family.

We will never forget his spirit, courage and his passion for adventure.
Studly

Trad climber
WA
May 22, 2013 - 01:37pm PT
From watching just one video of him, it seems to me Mason lived more in one day then many people do in their whole lives. Right on brother.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
May 22, 2013 - 02:30pm PT
As with most climbers, Mason had a lot of other interests going on in life, that add diversity to their character. Just a few things I know of, he was a guitar and banjo player, who spent a lot of time jamming with the boys up in Eureka and they are really torn up about this; some really close friends.

Mason was also a mason, working with rock, if you can believe the coincidence of that. I don't know if that came from his pure love of stone or what. He did some really high end stuff and was working up in Glacier Park last I talked with him.

He was super talented so I know this is only a tiny tip in an iceberg.

Arne
CalicoJack

climber
CA
May 22, 2013 - 02:32pm PT
My condolences.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
May 22, 2013 - 02:41pm PT
I'm not sure if this is the right time to bring this up but would the type of rope used have made a difference? I used the Edelweiss Stratos BITD just because sh#t happens. Ropes in general are like butter when mixed with falling rock. There are so many lighter ropes around and so much pressure to use lighter stuff. It's like the way ice axes have gone - there are so many toy axes, I have to wonder how many accidents are caused by those.

That smile of Mason's is contagious.
micronut

Trad climber
May 22, 2013 - 02:44pm PT
Marc,
Thank you for posting that shot. I am truly and deeply sorry for all/any of you who knew Mason personally. My deepest condolences. I life that shone brightly for sure. I did not know him, nor have I followed the accident much as I am heading up El Cap for the first time in two weeks. But guys like him who have gone before and carried a lifetime of stoke up the wall have paved the way for rookies like me who will follow. Take care.

Scott
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
May 22, 2013 - 02:48pm PT
If the rope (any rope) managed to have significant tension or if the tension was created at the moment a sharp edge contacted it then all bets are off.

Two unlikely events had to converge for this tragedy to occur the way it did. First a flake that had help pro on previous occasions had to dislodge.. then even more unlikely it had to sever the lead line.

Randomness can get you no matter how prepared or experienced.

Regarding the Stratos rope question. Certainly they give an extra margin of safety but are not indestructible. I lost a friend, Steve Garvey many years ago who was using a brand new 10.5 Stratos that cut like butter over a very sharp rock.

Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 22, 2013 - 02:50pm PT
WERD^^^ ive seen the same,, 11mm reduced to a few core strands in a nano second under body weight over an EDGE a tiny edge.
benzo

Big Wall climber
tacoma wa.
May 22, 2013 - 02:56pm PT
My helmets off to you Marc. Strong work, Strong heart.
Thoughts are with the Robinson family.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
May 22, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
I wonder if it's possible to build a device like a screamer that could absorb enough shock at the harness to be able to build a more cable-like rope. It would have to be more like the size of a Silent Partner. It could be a device that absorbs energy as the near tail of the rope, or rope-like cable, passed through it during a fall. Maybe it could be hydrolic. Wasn't there somebody in a thread here at ST not long ago talking about his patent for such a device and nobody could nail him down about it? I don't know, if you remove all the danger what do you have - nothing left to transcend.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 22, 2013 - 02:59pm PT
Let Mason's legacy in part be the stimulus in the dialogue concerning safety, be it single vs double rope technique, brand performance, or the potential pros and cons of a community loose rock cleaning program, etc.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
May 22, 2013 - 03:04pm PT
^+1

Plaid
Jack Beard

Mountain climber
Kalispell, MT
May 22, 2013 - 07:07pm PT
Climbing is the King of sports and Mason was a prince. We will feel his presence at Stone Hill , like we have felt Mark's all these years.
J man

Trad climber
morgan hill
May 22, 2013 - 07:21pm PT
And every time I hear the rolling thunder
I turn and run before the lightning strikes
And if I can find a rock to crawl right under
I'll never let the good times pass me by.

covelocos

Trad climber
Nor Cal
May 22, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
be it single vs double rope technique

Is double rope used (much) for aid climbing? I learned from a Swiss climber in JTree. He free climbed everything w/doubles. I've loved mine ever since.
rick sumner

Trad climber
reno, nevada/ wasilla alaska
May 22, 2013 - 07:53pm PT
He looked very happy on the ascent to the heavens.
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 22, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
Thanks for posting Marc.

I try to buy new edge-safe rated 11m ropes every year, or every other year. That's about every 5-6 walls on my schedule. They are spendy, especially full retail. But the piece of mind they offer feels worth it. Perhaps even the nicest rope isn't going to survive a sharp falling flake. .

D.Eubanks

climber
May 22, 2013 - 08:12pm PT
Thanks Marc for sharing. Sorry for the loss of your friend.

take care Marc,

Dana
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
May 22, 2013 - 08:15pm PT
I have to admit I'm curious about the lead rope also. At least the age and diameter.

Seems like there should be a little more investigative impulse regarding the rope.

Maybe if a haul line is dynamic, it could be clipped into the protection also during a dicey section, and then pulled through after it was past. Sure, it may be too much rope overall when combined with the lead rope to give a dynamic catch, but considering the alternative it would feel safer.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
May 22, 2013 - 08:32pm PT
Marc, and to Mason's family...
I've been following this thread and trying to think of something to say. words seem not enough and so I've been struggling.

I do not know any of you, but am so sad for you and for our community.

I only hope in the days to come you are surrounded by the love you so obviously have both here and at home and find some happiness in the joy Mason was filled with.

Being able to persue ones dreams is the gift we all have, but those with real courage are the ones that follow that dream.

with sincere regards and healing energy,

DD
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Vancouver Canada
May 22, 2013 - 08:37pm PT
It seems that a thick rope offers a measure of subjective security if only in the mind.

1 or 2 millimeter's difference in the diameter of a rope has no meaning when something heavy, solid and angular crosses it due to gravity.
FRUMY

Trad climber
SHERMAN OAKS,CA
May 22, 2013 - 08:39pm PT
Could not say it better -- than Delhi Dog.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
May 22, 2013 - 08:49pm PT
Well spoken Delhi Dog, difficult to express the sorrow and sadness but your words conveyed a warm and genial sympathy shared by many here.
SalNichols

Big Wall climber
Richmond, CA
May 23, 2013 - 12:39am PT
Last July I buried one of my best friends at sea, 100 miles north of Oahu. Andrew had always dreamt of sailing to Hawaii...his body just didn't give him the chance. When I saw that photo of Mason, high on the Muir, it brought to mind my friend...both beautiful sons, brothers, and friends...living large. The people in our lives are such precious gifts. Take care of one another.
Fluoride

Trad climber
West Los Angeles, CA
May 23, 2013 - 12:57am PT
Dehli Dog, you spoke very eloquently for the climbing community. Thanks for the post.

Mason's family and Marc, his sentiments are true of many of us.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
WA, & NC & Idaho
May 23, 2013 - 03:27am PT
Mason sounds like a wonderful guy and a great human being,
I'm sorry for every one's loss. Sometimes the light that burns the most brightly is extinguished before we are ready.

Here is to a life well lived!!!!!!

Mason, may you climb a million walls in the next realm.

Peace, love and God speed!

-Ezra Ellis

Marc, thanks for the wonderful pic!
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 23, 2013 - 06:09am PT
McHale's Navy's idea is definitely worth considering. Put a couple of screamers on your harness and use a kevlar rope, or what they use to stabilize aerial antennas (I forget the name), there are many materials better than nylon. The main property of the rope should be resistance to cutting over a sharp edge. Another good property is UV resistance, but I think this is more important for anchor slings. The weight is not that big an issue considering the amount of metal you have to carry on an aid route.
D.Eubanks

climber
May 23, 2013 - 06:18am PT
Delhi Dog, your post was spot on!
OR

Trad climber
May 23, 2013 - 06:39am PT
Uhggggg...just found the thread. Vibes, thoughts and prayers to Mason, Mark, Families and friends.
Regan

Big Wall climber
May 23, 2013 - 06:40am PT
Very sad and tragic.
Deep condolences to friends and family...
Norwegian

Trad climber
the tip of god's middle finger
May 23, 2013 - 06:49am PT
a song about a mason named mason,
who died when his wall collapsed around him.


"mason was a mighty man,
a mighty man was he."



Red Wing

climber
California
May 23, 2013 - 07:52am PT
Dear Marc,

I was in the party that was climbing behind you guys after you bivied on Grey. I helped you with the lower out on the bolt ladder traversing pitch that gets you on Muir, remember? I am so sorry, Marc. I don't know what to say. It is hard to believe.

We had time to talk a bit while you were out on lead. Mason and I shared funny stories, talked about home, family, walls... such a nice guy. We shared many similar experiences over many years of climbing in the Valley. On El Cap we are all brothers.

At that belay, the bad weather had me down and I said to him "Man, I don't know why I do this anymore". He looked at me for a sec, smiled, put his hand up in the air, palm facing me, and said, "Yeah you do." We high fived and then the rain fell harder. We were smiling. This is the Mason I will remember. Wherever it comes from, whatever it is, I'll work hard to keep the passion, Mason!

All the best to you, Marc. Maybe someday we'll meet again. Much love to you and the Robisons.
Timid TopRope

Social climber
'used to be Paradise, CA
May 23, 2013 - 09:06am PT
+6 Delhi Dog. See ya soon.
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
May 23, 2013 - 09:33am PT

Wow everybody, I am completely overwhelmed by all the kind and generous messages being posted here and to my email. What an unbelievable and surreal experience this is. I keep asking myself,

"Is this real? Am I really the partner of the guy who just died on El Cap?"

Norwegian, thanks for the music vid. Red Wing, wow, thanks for reaching out. I know we were holding you guys up a little bit. Your input on the lower out was very much appreciated. Ending that day in the cold and rain by headlamp was just another aspect of the climb that made our experience so poignant. That feeling of getting into the ledge and warming up after a long day is so, so good.

Big wall climbing distills life down to it's very essence. The whole multi day process is broken down to one small step after another, with gravity a constant reminder of how precious life is.

I don't know what else to say. As far as the questions about the rope, it was a newer Edelweiss 10.5 big wall rope. As far as the block goes, it is the one seen in the photo posted by Melissa earlier in the thread, the large triangular block beneath the right hand side of the roof, just above the 3rd piece in her photo. (if my attempt to copy her link doesn't work, it is the photo in post #130)

http://www.supertopo.com/photos/18/22/303772_22984_L.jpg

Mason must have inadvertently dislodged the block while reaching left to put a cam in beneath the roof. I wasn't looking up at the time the block pulled. I heard the grating noise and pulled myself tight in to the wall. It was in his lap when he flew by the belay. Here is a picture of the missing block, showing Mason's last piece before he fell.

location of the missing block
location of the missing block
Credit: telemon01

I have mixed feelings about providing so much detail, but all the questions are valid, and I think it is important to clarify what went on up there. After seeing Melissa's photo, and recognizing it as the same line Mason was taking, I see this as a good opportunity to remove the speculation and mystery of what happened.

Mason, a man who had as much passion for his work as he did his climbing. To know that he was taken out by a block so similar to other countless blocks he has hoisted and worked with in the past is bittersweet.

Mason Robison
Mason Robison
Credit: telemon01
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 23, 2013 - 09:40am PT
Oh man, I just want to reach into that photo and give Mason a great big hug.
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
May 23, 2013 - 09:46am PT
Thanks for providing this info even though I'm sure it is very hard to write and think about. Very sorry for your loss of a great friend and human being.


Edit: +1 on Marks comment. ^^
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 23, 2013 - 09:50am PT
Thanks Marc. Nasty chunk of rock... :(
coz

Gym climber
Belmont
May 23, 2013 - 09:50am PT
Man,

Tough deal, it's just something that could have happen to anyone of us.

I've lost my share to the sport we all love, I remember their faces and their laughs, and all the crazy stories.

I sadly never had the chance to meet Mason, but he reminds me of all my other lost friends.

They seemed most happy talking about climbing or climbing, it was their passion in life and their purpose for living, although I miss them, I'm glad they lived their lives to the fullest and their spirits would not have been the same without climbing.

I miss the life of high adventure and pure passion and I to shall someday meet a loose block with my name on it, and when I go, I know that I've lived a great and full life and with no regrets.

The fallen would not want those left behind to be sad, but to be filled with inspiration to live their lives full throttle.

See ya, in the night land Mason, we can swap stories and enjoy a cold one.

Aimee D

Social climber
Seattle
May 23, 2013 - 09:56am PT
One of Mason's friends has started a page for donations in Mason's memory to expand the climbing park in Columbia Falls, Montana.
https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/bWB03

Thank you for letting me come by and listen. -Aimee
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
May 23, 2013 - 10:08am PT
Wow, I can see that block just dropping right into ones lap.

Thank you for posting up those details. That about sums up the speculation of the matter.

The pictures of Mason makes you want to just hang out and climb with the guy....

He looks a climbing partner full of stoke and spirit.
Norwegian

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
May 23, 2013 - 10:19am PT
when this stone bull meets the heavenly matador,

all Mason says,
"don't you weep for me."

and then he boldly passed thru the red cape.

his stature is our's to follow.
Red Wing

climber
California
May 23, 2013 - 11:01am PT
We're all brothers/sisters up there, Marc. Mason helped get our bags through that slot leading up to Grey. Hard keeping up with that guy!

We could hear you guys laughing up on your portaledges in the evening, enjoying being done with the day. It was really nice morale boost for us after a cold rainy day. I wish I could give you and the Robisons a big 'ol hug. I'm so sorry.

gstock

climber
Yosemite Valley
May 23, 2013 - 11:57am PT
Credit: Melissa (left), telemon1 (right)
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
May 23, 2013 - 12:05pm PT
Marc, thanks much for posting that info - it's what we all wanted and needed. It sure looks like it would be hard to get a read on that block. You kind of figure it's been there for awhile so why is it going anywhere today? When I was young it was hard to forget the Jim Madsen story. I'm sure all of our friends that have been 'surprised' would want us to know as much as possible about what happened exactly. El Cap is a beautiful and amazing place. It pulls you in and doesn't let go sometimes. One of the biggest struggles of my life was whether to keep going up it or not. I will always be amazed by it. Peace to Mason and happy trails to you.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
May 23, 2013 - 12:08pm PT
hey there say, telemon1... oh my... now i understand why there was an explosion-noise (edit: meaning, i did not understand the size of the rocks and rockfall, at first)...

i feel for the climbers, always, like if they were my brothers, being that my brother climbed all those years and i, at the time, in a situation where i really could not contact my family very often, WONDERED and prayed for all of them... wondering if i'd ever seen them again... *was married in south texas and had just enough for our kids, to get by...

after divorce, i found this open door to mark/chappy now, and so many
that feel the same way that most of our family felt about the greatoutdoors...

thus, i hope and pray for all the climbers and THIS TIME:
my brother himself WAS THERE in the area of all this...

thus--not being able to understand why they heard such an explosion
noise kept nagging at me--now i understand...

of course, it cause me and others and you, more pain, as to mason's last
moments... but i pray that the balm for this pain, god's grace, in my
eyes (and of course in the eyes of others, each have their own balm),
but, well,:
i pray that the balm will, after soothing us, SPREAD out and soothe others
connected to this situation, and other accidents, and give ongoing-healing
in the ways that come to our attention, even it it is YEARS down the line, as well...


as we can see, it IS coming in, in a good strong flow...


life is complex enough, and increase more, with the situations of life that we face that are beyond just eating and sleeping and caring for our daily body as to family-circles...
when things happen to friends or loved ones, there is just that
need to understand, as IF in some way, it will help us KNOW how to reach out better, to help ease the 'results' of whatever the 'said complexities' had left in the wake...

when it is good complexities, of course, there is no need for healing, but for sharing joy...

how much more so, though, should healing be shared...
however, a step at a time, as we are dealing with others BEYOND our family-circle, and must take care, as we do not yet always know and understand them as well as those that we already know...



thank you for sharing this...
as with all fallen climbers, his folks will not be forgotten, in my prayers...
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 23, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
^^^ Those two pictures a couple of posts above show what happened. This could have happened to anyone, just looks like any other block on el Cap.
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Soon to be Nipple suckling Liberal
May 23, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
AMazed that so many passed that block- it looked as if it just hovered in place there from the pics..
Nilepoc

Big Wall climber
Tx
May 23, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
Thank you for sharing the picture of the void left be that block. It pales in size to the void left by the loss of a climber like Mason. His videos speak well of his character and I find myself wishing I could have shared a pitch with him.

As others have stated it could have been any of us on any route. It is calming to know the cause and perplexing to think about the fickleness of that block.

My thoughts go out to all impacted by this and especially the family and Mason's partner.

RIP Mason.
wbw

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
May 23, 2013 - 01:15pm PT
Such an innocuous looking little bit of climbing. I can easily imagine pushing right on that block standing there in my aiders, trying to get as much reach to the left as possible.

Thanks for posting that picture Mark.
Baron Weasel

Trad climber
England
May 23, 2013 - 01:22pm PT
Best wishes to all who knew Mason. Will think of him when ever I hear The Grateful Dead, Mason's Children...
mareko

Trad climber
San Francisco
May 23, 2013 - 03:49pm PT
Peace!
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
May 23, 2013 - 04:26pm PT
The Muir Wall is one of El Cap's greatest natural lines, second only to the Salathé. It boasts large clean corners from the ground to summit with moderate yet sustained climbing.

Those last pics juxtaposed really speak to the reality. Were I a big wall climber, I think those pics, the events, and the accounts and thoughts of Mason would inspire me to nickname the Muir the Muir-Robison Wall. For a few reasons.

Peace and healing to Marc and the Robison family.
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
May 23, 2013 - 05:04pm PT
Marc - your account is helpful. I'm glad that you were able and willing to provide it.

Life isn't fair. I hope you will be able to enjoy life as much as you can, without guilt even as you are without your partner, precisely because it isn't fair. I have yet to lose a partner in that way. I can only imagine, and I hope to never know.

Peace to you and all who treasured Mason.
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 23, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
I have just one last thing to add in this thread.

Mason seems like the kinda guy who'd have carried a razor sharp block all the way to the talus at the base before letting it take out his belay partner.

just sayin...
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 23, 2013 - 07:33pm PT
It is important that you showed the excellent detail of the missing block and gear. Who knows how many people, from Herbert, Chounard, Robbins, and all before, had climbed that block. It just came out.

The technical side is always important and we don't get to see that very much. It may save somebody else down the road.

That could have been anyone. I'm so sorry that this happened to all involved.
WBraun

climber
May 23, 2013 - 07:38pm PT

I wonder if Coz & Smith were yarding on that thing years ago when they tried to free the Muir?
moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
May 24, 2013 - 12:22am PT
Hey Hey. After Mason's accident I have taken again the time to ponder the past and then question myself? Why do I love the sport so much. After 48 years of climbing and still plugging along, I think back on the last 31 climbing partners I have seen go by the ways of the mountains. You would think that you would become numb, nottt. I have been fortunate enough not to be there when that took place, or have I just been a lucky guy. No one will ever know... Mark, I am sad that you were there but at the same time I am soo glad you were there, you can pass on your knowledge and thoughts to future climbers, you were there to see Mason in his finest element. Let's face it, what a wonderful place that we love so dearly.........You are a good friend to Mason...Hang in there mate....Peace..............

Stevo
coz

Gym climber
Belmont
May 24, 2013 - 08:10am PT
Werner, we never climbed the upper Muir, we climbed a new route called the Shaft, nearby.

Ben Rumsen

Social climber
No Name City ( and it sure ain't pretty )
May 24, 2013 - 08:33am PT
AMazed that so many passed that block- it looked as if it just hovered in place there from the pics..


Crap, I probably nailed past it in 1982. So sorry to hear of these accidents. Be safe everybody.
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
May 24, 2013 - 08:37pm PT

Friends and family will gather tomorrow to honor my good friend Mason Robison.

Thanks to everyone for all the words of encouragement and support.

RIP brother...

Credit: telemon01

Credit: telemon01

nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
May 24, 2013 - 08:53pm PT
telemon01, Please give Mason's Papa & Mama some extra hugs for us...

take care...

Saludos...
nita.

Strength in numbers.


Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
May 24, 2013 - 09:09pm PT
Marc, and to Mason's family...
I've been following this thread and trying to think of something to say. words seem not enough and so I've been struggling.

I do not know any of you, but am so sad for you and for our community.

I only hope in the days to come you are surrounded by the love you so obviously have both here and at home and find some happiness in the joy Mason was filled with.

Being able to persue ones dreams is the gift we all have, but those with real courage are the ones that follow that dream.

with sincere regards and healing energy,

DD spoke so very well for many of us I think. His eloquence helps me to add my deepest condolences to Mason's family and friends.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
May 24, 2013 - 09:19pm PT
hey there say, telemon1/marc... i will keep this in mind and be praying for
them...

once again, god bless at this hard sad time...
may the strength from for his loved ones, during this day, and into
the future...
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 25, 2013 - 11:36am PT
What's amazing to me, if I understand this correctly, is that the leader (RIP) fell the entire length of the haul line (a static cord at that) and then some, and shock-loaded straight onto the belay anchor. Man, that's quite a jolt on the anchor. It's a wonder it didn't rip.

JL
saa

climber
not much of a
May 25, 2013 - 03:00pm PT
RIP

A few days ago with news of this bad start of the season , both on El Cap
and in Tahquitz, moods were dark.

But this morning, I looked at my harnesses and my shoes.
Well, they looked at me, really. And I knew. It s time to go.

Come on people.
In your shoes.
On your ropes.
On the rock.
Let´s move!
Let´s go.

This happened before, this will happen again. Let´s go!
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
May 25, 2013 - 04:10pm PT
Perhaps the obstacles he hit absorbed large amounts of the energy created, Largo. There is that ledgey area below etc.
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
May 25, 2013 - 06:16pm PT

Largo and Peter, Mason did not hit any obstacles on the way down; it was a clean 230' fall directly on the bolt. I couldn't believe it either, but the bolt appeared to be fine.

Our belay anchor was equalized between two bolts, and the haulbag was clipped alone to the 3rd bolt off to the right. We had a couple of slings connected to it as backup.

One of Werner's first questions to me was about the condition of that bolt.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
May 25, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
Wow. Thanks, T.
Matt's

climber
May 25, 2013 - 06:58pm PT
yeah, it is amazing to me the anchor didn't rip out...

didn't a party die on the nose when their pigs fell and the anchor blew?
jghedge

climber
May 25, 2013 - 07:01pm PT
So were those belay bolts that held that fall placed by Coz and Co. during the FA of The Shaft, or does The Shaft not go that far up the corner before cutting out left...

Coz?

Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
May 25, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
Matt's, that sounds familiar to me, an old story about people dropping their haulbag and ripping out an anchor. As I remember the story, (as it was told to me anyway) they were bailing down the rap route because of a storm, and just tossing the bags at each rap to save time, and didnt consider the forces on the anchors. When I tried to google it this Mark Hudon article came up that mentions it. I also found a list of deaths on the Nose by Clint Cummins, but it doesnt mention it. I do remember something about that but there are many people here who would know better than me.
WBraun

climber
May 25, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
"As I remember the story, (as it was told to me anyway) they were bailing down the rap route because of a storm, and just tossing the bags at each rap to save time,"

Oh really?

Must be true since it's on the internet.

Rolls eyes ...... Good fuking grief!

Unbelievable what you people eat .....
aspendougy

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
May 25, 2013 - 08:57pm PT
We are all interested in avoiding unnecessary bolting, but perhaps if the climbing culture in the Valley were more amenable to it, a bolt could have been placed on the main face, thus avoiding the need to place protection inside a dangerously loose flake.

I am indulging in hindsight of course, but possibly a number of others have used the flake previously, thought it hazardous, but were unwilling to place a bolt due to the fear of being pounced on by peers for over bolting. Of course, there may be other safe options for those moves besides a bolt, but if not, put in a bolt.
Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 25, 2013 - 09:40pm PT
^^^I'd be more inclined to believe that most people actually avoided that chunk of rock completely by climbing around it to the left.

You can see my partner's pro in the pic I posted. You can see the block up to the right, he didn't go anywhere near it.



Not trying to judge Mason's or anyone's actions. Just saying that the notion that every climber who's done Muir Wall has climbed through that deadly block may not exactly be accurate.
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
May 25, 2013 - 09:59pm PT
Exactly, L-bone.
Riley Wyna

Trad climber
A crack near you
May 25, 2013 - 10:06pm PT
Karl and I were using a static line also - ironic as Karl stated that he had always hauled with dynamic ropes for just this reason and was none too happy about the possibility of a 400 footer onto a static cable. I have always believed that if the lead line had been chopped all the way through I would have been ripped off and been in the talus with Mr Baba. That would have been a 400 footer though as he was pretty much at the top of a second pitch after running 5 and 6 together.

I've been thinking about these tragedies a lot today. This week's accidents hit closer to our climber' cores as they can not be chalked up to inexperience or a mistake. The thin veil of confidence between us and oblivion is dissolved and we get a view of true reality. We feel bonded to each as climbers but also to our fallen brothers because our fallen brothers are us. If you are a climber you have no choice but to answer the call and if not for luck and grace there go everyone of us a thousand times over. I have often thought if I should get the chop while riding the wind and granite on the sharp end that my only wish is that it be quick and absolute.
I take comfort in knowing my fellow brothers had quick deaths and did not suffer.
I do not feel waste in these deaths the way I do so many others. Sometimes during the course of living our wonderful lives accidents just happen.
RIP brothers and to the families please find peace in the happiness your loved ones found up on those glorious walls. It is an experience in ridiculousness, in magic and in the absurd and it is a spiritual epiphany and celebration of being alive greater than most people can imagine.

RIP



Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 25, 2013 - 10:53pm PT
Matt Lambert and Peter Haan: So easy to judge my choices or Mason's from comfort of your laptop, isn't it?

To Mason's family: I am so, so, so sorry for loss, and am sorry if the picture that I shared made it any worse. I posted my picture feeling vulnerable for having been in the same place and not remembering all that went into my choices, though I do remember some of it. If it had seemed doable or safer for me to go up that grassy crack without using my hammer, I have to think that I would have done that. Maybe I just didn't see it, or maybe I couldn't reach. Maybe the stuff out right (and not in the line of the belay ledge and belayer) seemed more solid on the "C1" pitch in person than it did in my picture. I honestly don't remember.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
May 25, 2013 - 11:05pm PT
If you are a climber you have no choice but to answer the call and if not for luck and grace there go everyone of us a thousand times over

That is the truth. Often we try to find ways to rationalize that a mistake occurred, one we would not have made or did not make in a similar or same circumstance. But the fact is we all have made mistakes and if we are here typing then we were lucky. Harder to accept is the fact that no mistake might be made and yet tragedy can result. Same difference though and we are all susceptible either way.

I will be somewhat more careful about blocks that seem secure I suppose. But how far can one take that without bolting everything? Shall I avoid the boot flake? Shall I switch to hauling on dynamic line so that I might have the privilege of taking a 400 foot ride to the end? While in some instances that might save my life I still find it one of the least of my worries .. so far down the list as to be akin to worrying about hantavirus from sleeping at camp 6. (hepatitus might be a real worry though)

Hey where is Brutus's disclaimer? In case some folks might not have noticed, this climbing thing is dangerous. Nothing you do or don't do can change that at the most basic level.

For me I will take this lesson from this tragedy. We have an amazing community, good friends and a wonderful way to live. I will be careful but not too careful. I will take the opportunity to be as happy as Mason so clearly was as he LIVED.
dugillian

Trad climber
Vancouver
May 25, 2013 - 11:15pm PT
So very sad! Thank you for sharing your story. Condolences to Mason's family and friends.
coz

Gym climber
Belmont
May 26, 2013 - 06:10am PT

Joe,

We abandon the Muir a pitch and a half above the grey bands. Although at one point we were very close, but those bolts are not ours.


Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
May 26, 2013 - 06:21am PT
I duuno know who in their right mind be slinging huge loose looking flakes right above their belayer...

I have.

The black diorite on El Cap is full of loose crap. I ran slings around the loose flakes and tied them off. It prevented my rope from knocking the flakes loose right onto my partner.

Christ, the black diorite pitch right above Camp 4 was scary as hell, all kinds of loose flakes sticking out right above the belayer. I wasn't about to go gardening on the Nose during the height of wall season, so I slung the blocks and tied them off to keep them from getting knocked loose by my rope.

And I have to confess that I've placed bolts in order to avoid touching big, loose blocks hanging out of cracks.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
May 26, 2013 - 06:44am PT
slr, what you say in your post seems like an altogether different context.


melissa, I wish you hadn't done that. This is a valuable thread and now it's lost some consistency on a very important aspect.

(EDIT: oh no worries, image preserved elsewhere, provided they don't delete, to each their own, I guess.)


riley, well put.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
May 26, 2013 - 06:49am PT
what you say in your post seems like an altogether different context

I know
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
May 26, 2013 - 07:01am PT
Yes, condolences to Mason's family and friends, and especially to you Marc and may you get some restful sleep!

Accidents happen with dire consequences all the time and sometimes when the ball is set in motion it is beyond our control to change course, or even see it coming!

Don't forget you can use your haul line for double rope technique if you think you need it, climbing expando, around sharp edges, shorten the fall, or for rope drag, although no one would have used it here!

God give us peace!

Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
May 26, 2013 - 09:19am PT
I think in these vulnerable issues it is normal to try and assign blame or to feel guilty about this or that but the fact is, adventure sports are not safe, at all. We all know the risks going in. They're part of what attract many of us in the first place. Sadly, we're all not going to make it through. That's how the game has played out since man first ventured from the cave. It's the irreducible brute element, and no amount of talking and bolting and regret can ever erase it entirely from our experience.

JL
Peter Haan

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, CA
May 26, 2013 - 09:24am PT
Johno, all true. Every now and then, climbing has to eat one of its own, as do all the other extreme sports and arts. It is inherent.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
May 26, 2013 - 11:25am PT
We've collectively yarded on tens of thousands of loose blocks and flakes. We hit them with the heels of our hands, kick them with our feet, observe the motion, listen to the sound, and make a judgement. It's not exactly an engineering survey. The process only really identifies the most precarious features. For the rest, we shrug, mutter to ourselves that it is probably ok, and then weight the feature or place some pro behind it. Most of us have done this over and over, which may convince us that we actually know what we are doing, whereas in reality we are just benefiting from favorable rolls of the dice.

My personal count is two holds snapped off while soloing---in each case only a desperate, tenuous, and highly improbable recovery kept me from going to the deck---and one incredibly extreme incident wrestling with a large air-conditioner size chockstone that dropped into my lap in a chimney. I've done, I think, four climbs using major features that have since fallen off; those features were heavily pulled on and used for protection by all the ascenders.

As the years have gone by and the close calls have mounted, I've become increasingly wary of loose stuff. There's a climb in the Gunks with an obvious loose flake, covered with chalk from being used by others, that I resolutely refused to touch, at the expense of adding a grade to the route. That flake is now gone, as far as I know without taking anyone with it.

Mason's death is a terrible and sad reminder that our skill and experience is not always enough to control nature's vagaries. I agree that risk is an intrinsic part of the appeal of adventure climbing, but the appeal comes from our ability to neutralize risks with skill, cunning, and self-control. The trouble is that we don't always succeed, and even when we do we may be mistaking good luck for evidence of our ability to control our environment.

In the aftermath of these tragedies, it often seems like the climbing endeavor can't possibly be worth these devastating losses. But for most of us, to quote Barry Corbet a few days after Jake Breitenbach was killed on Mount Everest, "I, at least, am experiencing the return of the desire to climb."

My heartfelt sympathies to Mason's family, who have lost two children to the mountains. And my most fervent wishes for the rest of us---knowing that we will continue to venture forth---for favorable rolls of those dice.
WTF

climber
May 26, 2013 - 01:31pm PT
I hope some long summer days looking out across the vast flathead valley and lake bring some moments of peace to you.

Know that mason is tied in with his brother and climbing higher than ever before.
Thoughts and prayers to you.

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
May 26, 2013 - 01:55pm PT
We've collectively yarded on tens of thousands of loose blocks and flakes. We hit them with the heels of our hands.....

Well put Rgold. A lot of these beasts are either poised to go or soon will be. I think someone already mentioned the potential for an online topo that highlights observed time bombs. Very good idea. Maybe chris mac should start a "Hazards" page or something? insert a "red Flag"?

I once did the standard heel tap test and was a little shocked to see the small engine block in question smoothly and instantly slide off along an inclined shear plane not previously obvious to the eye. If you think I was surprised just imagine the dismay of my belayer below!!!!!

Another time a buddy was sprawled out on a nice flat rock belaying his partner 100 feet above. Imagine his surprise when a dining table size guillotine flake suddenly leapt off the rock right beside the climber! He rather suddenly awoke from his belay stupor and barrel rolled to safety in something like 1.0001 of a second! The only hint of impending disaster was the occasional little sand grain that landed on their head while racking up, which they thought was caused by the wind.





Studly

Trad climber
WA
May 26, 2013 - 03:26pm PT
Stranger, stranger, lover of unreachable heights, why dwell you among the summits where eagles build their nests?

Why seek you the unattainable?

What storms would you trap in your net,

And what vaporous birds do you hunt in the sky?

Come and be one of us.

Descend and appease your hunger with our bread and quench your thirst with our wine."

In the solitude of their souls they said these things;

But were their solitude deeper they would have known that I sought but the secret of your joy and your pain,

And I hunted only your larger selves that walk the sky.

But the hunter was also the hunted:

For many of my arrows left my bow only to seek my own breast.

And the flier was also the creeper;

For when my wings were spread in the sun their shadow upon the earth was a turtle.

And I the believer was also the doubter;

For often have I put my finger in my own wound that I might have the greater belief in you and the greater knowledge of you.

And it is with this belief and this knowledge that I say,

You are not enclosed within your bodies, nor confined to houses or fields.

That which is you dwells above the mountain and roves with the wind.

It is not a thing that crawls into the sun for warmth or digs holes into darkness for safety,

But a thing free, a spirit that envelops the earth and moves in the ether.

If this be vague words, then seek not to clear them.

Vague and nebulous is the beginning of all things, but not their end,

And I fain would have you remember me as a beginning.

Life, and all that lives, is conceived in the mist and not in the crystal.

And who knows but a crystal is mist in decay?

This would I have you remember in remembering me:

That which seems most feeble and bewildered in you is the strongest and most determined.

Is it not your breath that has erected and hardened the structure of your bones?

And is it not a dream which none of you remember having dreamt that building your city and fashioned all there is in it?

Could you but see the tides of that breath you would cease to see all else,

And if you could hear the whispering of the dream you would hear no other sound.

But you do not see, nor do you hear, and it is well.

The veil that clouds your eyes shall be lifted by the hands that wove it,

And the clay that fills your ears shall be pierced by those fingers that kneaded it.

And you shall see

And you shall hear.

Yet you shall not deplore having known blindness, nor regret having been deaf.

For in that day you shall know the hidden purposes in all things,

And you shall bless darkness as you would bless light.

After saying these things he looked about him, and he saw the pilot of his ship standing by the helm and gazing now at the full sails and now at the distance.

And he said:

Patient, over-patient, is the captain of my ship.

The wind blows, and restless are the sails;

Even the rudder begs direction;

Yet quietly my captain awaits my silence.

And these my mariners, who have heard the choir of the greater sea, they too have heard me patiently.

Now they shall wait no longer.

I am ready.

The stream has reached the sea, and once more the great mother holds her son against her breast.

Fare you well, people of Orphalese.

This day has ended.

It is closing upon us even as the water-lily upon its own tomorrow.

What was given us here we shall keep,

And if it suffices not, then again must we come together and together stretch our hands unto the giver.

Forget not that I shall come back to you.

A little while, and my longing shall gather dust and foam for another body.

A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me.

Farewell to you and the youth I have spent with you.

It was but yesterday we met in a dream.

You have sung to me in my aloneness, and I of your longings have built a tower in the sky.

But now our sleep has fled and our dream is over, and it is no longer dawn.

The noontide is upon us and our half waking has turned to fuller day, and we must part.

If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song.

And if our hands should meet in another dream, we shall build another tower in the sky.

So saying he made a signal to the seamen, and straightaway they weighed anchor and cast the ship loose from its moorings, and they moved eastward.

And a cry came from the people as from a single heart, and it rose the dusk and was carried out over the sea like a great trumpeting.

Only Almitra was silent, gazing after the ship until it had vanished into the mist.

And when all the people were dispersed she still stood alone upon the sea-wall, remembering in her heart his saying,

A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me."

from "The Farewell" by Kahlil Gibran

SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
May 27, 2013 - 09:28am PT
Memorial Day bump

Susan
landcruiserbob

Trad climber
PUAKO, BIG ISLAND Kohala Coast
May 27, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
Isn't climbing about the unknown?

Rest brother


Aloha and be well

RG
Hoots

climber
Toyota Tacoma
May 28, 2013 - 11:43am PT
Credit: Hoots

After I heard about this I looked through some photos that Tom took of our ascent around this time last year, and found this one with the belay, and that gnarly block sitting right at my feet. The block that pulled is just out of view inside the corner. I do believe that block was well off route, and most people have and will continue to easily avoid it to the left, but being heads up about the block just getting to that belay is still quite important.

michael robison

Social climber
columbia falls montana
May 29, 2013 - 07:44am PT
Realize that each individual person does make a difference because one person influences the next and so on until everyone has been influenced by each other and that, in the end, is what makes up our country, our humanity, and our lives, Mason Robison's journals,

See ya all in oct
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
May 29, 2013 - 08:21am PT
Hi Michael,

Sorry for your loss and sorry I missed you on Saturday at Cfalls.

What's going on in October?

Arne Boveng
michael robison

Social climber
columbia falls montana
May 29, 2013 - 08:33am PT
Headed to Yosemite for 10 days Starting on oct. 1st. My parents have never been there. Anyone is welcome to meet us their. I'll know more later Cheers to all
elcap-pics

Big Wall climber
Crestline CA
May 29, 2013 - 08:38am PT
Be sure to stop by the Bridge to say hi.
Double D

climber
May 31, 2013 - 09:50am PT
Such a tragedy... my condolences to all of his family and friends. I've never been a fan of static haul lines for this very reason. They only save about 20 feet of hauling and can't act as a back up in a situation like this. Just my 2 cents as an old fart...
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
May 31, 2013 - 09:55am PT
If it's true that Mason had the haul line attached to a chest harness independant of his sit harness, I don't think dynamic or static would really make a difference.

Rip Brother!
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
May 31, 2013 - 11:44am PT
Mason did not have the haul line attached to his chest harness. His haul line, 9.5mm static, was attached to the haul loop on the back of his harness.
The 7mm dynamic tag line was attached to a gear loop on his waist harness. His chest harness was used for racking only.

Because he was found upright, tangled in his lines,there was an assumption that his haul line was attached to his chest harness. It never was.
irene+

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Jun 1, 2013 - 01:00am PT
Didn't know Mason, personally, not even virtually, but was very saddened when I read about his accident and death - especially since it very much seems he was a very experienced all-around climber, having under his belt a few rope-solos of ElCap. (got to watch some videos on his youtube channel)

No matter how safe/cautious/experienced someone is, you never know when your time comes, it could be tomorrow or a few decades away, it could be climbing or leukemia or a car accident - such is life and death...

As it is said 'death does not come alone' - in a span of 24h, I learned from the FB feed about 3 !!! deadly climbing accidents - one was Mason, one was the Tahquitz rappel, and another one was a snowboarder who fell 3000ft to his death on the Aiguille du Midi exit ridge, in a bad storm and extreme winds.

Less than 24 hours before reading about these 3 accidents, one of my closest partners here in Chamonix had been rescued by a complete miracle after having spent almost 4 days in a snow cave crevasse near the top of Aiguille Verte...and 24 hours after reading about these accidents, just by going to the supermarket, I witnessed a body on the ground covered with white sheets, and the police/ambulance...

My thoughts towards the friends and family of Mason, and anyone who might have just shared a rope once with him.
Axis

climber
San Jose, CA
Jun 3, 2013 - 12:43pm PT
Just out from Yosem Public Affairs...

Rock Climber Dies in Yosemite National Park

Climber Dislodged Rock that Strikes Climbing Partner

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.

Kiernan and his climbing partner were approximately 600 feet up the climbing route when a loose block was dislodged. The block, estimated to be one foot by two feet, fell approximately 150 feet before striking Kiernan and causing fatal injuries. The incident occurred at approximately 2:00 p.m.

A second party climbing just below Kiernan immediately called the Yosemite Emergency Communication Center via cell phone and reported the incident. Yosemite Park Rangers and Yosemite Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel were immediately dispatched to El Capitan where they began climbing the route to reach the climbing party.

Park Rangers reached Kiernan around 4:00 p.m. and pronounced him deceased. A California Highway Patrol (CHP) helicopter, H-40, and the park’s helicopter, Helicopter 551, assisted in the incident by inserting Park Rangers and rescue equipment onto the wall and hoisting the victim to Yosemite Valley. Park Rangers rappelled the route with Kiernan's partner and the second climbing party.

-NPS-


michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
Jun 3, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
Bummer. RIP
renzo

Trad climber
Whitefish Mt
Jun 3, 2013 - 01:47pm PT
Thanks Werner and all of the YOSAR bunch for taking care of my good bud Marc, he is doing well and happy to be with his family. Thanks Jim and Madaline for giving him comfort.
Larry Bruce
Stevethefolkie

Trad climber
Abbottstown, PA
Jun 3, 2013 - 03:29pm PT
Traditionally mountains were seen as barriers - to trade - to interaction - to learning. Those who ventured into the mountains were seen to be on a quest, for some sort of spiritual enlightenment. Monasteries were created in the mountains to allow for separation from the world, folks isolated themselves into the mountains to escape the pressure of every day life and those with a spirit of adventure went to the mountains to get above the fray of every day life.
The quest for spiritual enlightenment is often fraught with peril, and who among us who has seen the heights, who's cleaned that move, who's come through that "near miss" or has been belayed beautifully by a friend hasn't felt that sense of oneness with the universe? Isn't that why we head to the high country?
When a climber passes doing what he / she loves to do I'd like to believe that in the last instant of their fragile existence they find what they were seeking. It may be transient, and it may not help those of us left behind, but I really believe that it's true.
No, I'm not religious by any stretch of the imagination, but I do feel a spiritual connection to the earth when I climb - I know I could be taken at any time - but I accept the danger for the enlightenment that I find.
I hope that all those impacted by the events of this past week find solace and comfort - and keep climbing.

Peace

Steve
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Jun 3, 2013 - 03:37pm PT
Larry Bruce...

I didn't know renzo was you! Hope you're doing well, and once again, condolences for your friend.

Your bud from way back when,

Kevin
renzo

Trad climber
Whitefish Mt
Jun 3, 2013 - 07:19pm PT
Thanks Kevin, great to hear from you. Hearing from old friends from the loss of Mason would make Mason very Happy.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jun 4, 2013 - 07:52pm PT
From elcappic's Tom Evans.

In this spot (15 feet left and a bit below the heart) Mason Robison came to rest

Know that the one you loved is honored

Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, Ca
Jun 4, 2013 - 07:58pm PT
Link (and commentary) for pic above:

http://www.elcapreport.com/content/elcap-report-6413
10b4me

Social climber
Jun 6, 2013 - 07:24am PT
http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web13s/feature-death-on-yosemite-muir-wall
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Aug 29, 2013 - 11:45am PT
hey there say, all... i just emails to michael, here, that shared about
mason, and i hope to get reply...

or, if any of you all that were close to him, could please email me
an address where i could send something to his folks/family...

thank you...
god bless, and happy climbs to you all,
and a good supertopo eve... will check back later, :)
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Aug 29, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
Neebee, PM me if you haven't found your contact and I can put you in touch.

They have Marc's age as 28, which I'm sure should be 48. Sorry Marc, we all age eh?

Arne
Messages 1 - 350 of total 350 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews