Muir Rescue/Recovery


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Big Mike

Trad climber
May 31, 2013 - 12:55pm 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!

Trad climber
May 31, 2013 - 02:44pm 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.

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Jun 1, 2013 - 04:00am 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.

San Jose, CA
Jun 3, 2013 - 03:43pm 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.



Sport climber
Jun 3, 2013 - 03:48pm PT
Bummer. RIP

Trad climber
Whitefish Mt
Jun 3, 2013 - 04:47pm 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

Trad climber
Abbottstown, PA
Jun 3, 2013 - 06:29pm 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.


The Warbler

the edge of America
Jun 3, 2013 - 06:37pm 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,


Trad climber
Whitefish Mt
Jun 3, 2013 - 10:19pm PT
Thanks Kevin, great to hear from you. Hearing from old friends from the loss of Mason would make Mason very Happy.

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jun 4, 2013 - 10:52pm 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 - 10:58pm PT
Link (and commentary) for pic above:

Social climber
Jun 6, 2013 - 10:24am PT

Social climber
Aug 29, 2013 - 02:45pm 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, :)

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Aug 29, 2013 - 04:11pm 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?


Trad climber
May 19, 2015 - 05:28am PT

Two year memorial bump for Mason Robison. RIP Brother!

May 19, 2015 - 05:59am PT
Such a sad day for my MontanaBrethren!


Trad climber
May 19, 2015 - 06:07am PT
Two things I never adequately addressed in the aftermath of Mason's accident; one, that Mason was determined to lead all the hard pitches on the Muir clean. Rated 5.9 C4, the Muir led without hammering pins is a serious undertaking. Mason had already led a couple of hard pitches up to this point and was fired up to finish the route without pulling out his hammer.

Two, I never adequately thanked my Taco brethren for all the warm support and condolences, here on this thread and in emails. I contacted some of those who were climbing below us that day and who were affected by the rockfall from Mason's fall. Some replied with short, terse acknowledgement, but others, especially Chappy, were incredibly kind and gracious. I felt sick in the aftermath of the fall, wondering if we had hurt anyone below us on the Nose.

And words will always fall short in acknowledging the incredible effort put out by YOSAR. They nailed our location perfectly from the rim, coming to within 20' of my belay stance after being lowered 600'. It was about 3 in the afternoon by the time they had Mason's body back on the Valley floor and had the ropes lowered back to our stance at the top of pitch 26. What was super cool was that YOSAR offered me the opportunity to jug out, rather than being pulled out. Whether it was to give me the opportunity to finish the climb on my own power, or perhaps to relieve the rescuers on top from having to pull all that weight, I am not sure. Being mentally and physically exhausted, and knowing it could take up to two hours to jug the free hanging lines, I opted to be pulled out. HUMBLING!! Very humbling, having my ass being pulled off El Cap.

At the rim was Cheyne, snapping photos and guiding the ropes over the transition. The first person to me was Dave Allfrey, and he was genuinely kind and concerned, giving me a big hug and feeling the pain. Making eye contact with all of the rescuers was emotional and surreal. They are some of the finest people on earth. Werner sat by me, asked about the fall and the impact on the belay bolt. Others would come over and express their condolences. The wind was picking up and decisions were being made on whether or not we would have to descend the east ledges. The pilot decided to go for it and we were all pulled off the summit and back in El Cap Meadow shortly after 5PM, an incredible 8 hours after Mason fell.

Never did I imagine that when we left to climb El Cap that one of us wouldn't be coming back.


Trad climber
May 19, 2015 - 06:15am PT

Thanks EKat.

one of our coolest bivies, Muir Wall
one of our coolest bivies, Muir Wall
Credit: telemon01

Trad climber
May 19, 2015 - 06:19am PT
Mason Robison
Mason Robison
Credit: telemon01

Off to work. Thanks again everybody. Lots to think about, much more to say.

May 19, 2015 - 06:49am PT
Thanks EKat.

You're welcome.

I never met Mason, but Blanchard knew him from TheKook. I guess they had discussed rope soloing techniques in the past.

Your last 2 photos are really nice.


Let the memories of your time together fill your heart. Feel it all. Keep the wonder and release the worry.

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