Muir Rescue/Recovery


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Sport climber
Is this a trick question?
May 20, 2013 - 12:58am 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 20, 2013 - 01:06am 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 .

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 20, 2013 - 01:12am 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 20, 2013 - 01:43am PT
I remembered reading about a block on the Muir Wall recently so I did a search. This was from a 2001 entry i;

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 20, 2013 - 01:51am PT
Thanks, Mark.

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

Big Wall climber
El Portal/Chapel Hill
May 20, 2013 - 01:55am 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

Big Wall climber
El Portal/Chapel Hill
May 20, 2013 - 01:58am 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 20, 2013 - 02:39am 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.

Trad climber
Chatsworth, California
May 20, 2013 - 02:41am PT

Trad climber
Chatsworth, California
May 20, 2013 - 02:47am PT
Michael Nicholson

Big Wall climber
Thousand Oaks
May 20, 2013 - 03:15am PT
Sorry to hear about this...El Cap is so fun it sucks that this stuff happens

Social climber
May 20, 2013 - 04:40am 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...

Social climber
May 20, 2013 - 07:05am 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

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

Social climber
May 20, 2013 - 07:41am 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

May 20, 2013 - 08:53am PT
My condolences and prayers goes out to all family, friends and YSAR personnel who were on the scene.


Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe, CA
May 20, 2013 - 10:01am PT
Tragic and sad. Condolences to all.

Trad climber
the tip of god's middle finger
May 20, 2013 - 10:16am 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.


Social climber
humboldt nation
May 20, 2013 - 10:36am 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.

Ice climber
Soon 2B Arizona
May 20, 2013 - 10:59am PT
^^^ can't say that I've ever hated climbing, but at times I do question it's voracity.

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
May 20, 2013 - 11:12am PT
Oh man...every aid climbers worst nightmare.

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