Huge Rockfall - West Face of El Cap

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Llewelyn Moss

Big Wall climber
LZ Loon
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 17, 2017 - 08:56am PT
All –
Beware. On 9/16/17 we intended to climb the West Face of El Cap and discovered that the area has been completely obliterated by rockfall. The gully has been wiped out completely. The climber’s bivy has filled in with 2’ of fresh talus. It is unrecognizable. There are huge craters in the ground and the surrounding walls in the gully have been hit hard by huge rock. Many of the trees in the gully have simply disappeared. White dust covers everything. This was huge.

After climbing a very dusty, rock-impacted first pitch of the West Face (and getting a bird’s eye view of the destruction) we made a decision to get out of there. Rockfall barely missed the West Face P1 bolt anchor. We climbed KP Pinnacle and then walked over to Ribbon Falls where we were able to get a better vantage point of the source area.

It appears that a massive section of wall immediately above the end of the West Face’s Thanksgiving Ledge Traverse has fallen off. There is a huge white impact scar right on Thanksgiving, on the part of the easy traverse where there may not be much gear. The source area is very high on the wall. Rockfall fanned far up the gully, past Beyer’s route, all the way down to Mirage. We even saw evidence of the rockfall on the west side of KP Pinnacle!! Yowza. The rock fall scar and path of destruction are visible without binoculars from Ribbon Falls.

Please be careful!!!
zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Sep 17, 2017 - 09:01am PT
DAAAMMMN!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Sep 17, 2017 - 09:02am PT
Hope no one was hurt,
any pics?
TFPU
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Sep 17, 2017 - 09:14am PT
Damn. Makes me think of rolling dice.
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
Sep 17, 2017 - 09:19am PT
Yikes! Hope no one was hurt.

I hope Greg Stock sees this and chimes in after he has a look see.
Dingus Milktoast

Trad climber
Minister of Moderation, Fatcrackistan
Sep 17, 2017 - 09:52am PT
Must have sounded like big thunder.

DMT
Matt Thomsen

Big Wall climber
Places
Sep 17, 2017 - 10:18am PT
Yeah it happened Thursday afternoon. It was big, saw it from the meadow. Looked like a few car size blocks ripping down the gully.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Sep 17, 2017 - 11:20am PT
Place is falling apart . . . glad no one was in the way.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 17, 2017 - 12:17pm PT
Thanks for such a complete report.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Sep 17, 2017 - 03:17pm PT
Just wear your magic helmet, you will be fine.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Sep 17, 2017 - 06:05pm PT
Thanks for the report, get any pics of either the base area or the fresh scar area above Thanksgiving?

Must have been creepy making your way up the gulley through the rubble, good call on bailing!
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Sep 17, 2017 - 06:22pm PT
Any news about a recent rockfall on Waterfall route?
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Sep 17, 2017 - 08:06pm PT
Who says geologic time is slow?
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Sep 17, 2017 - 08:14pm PT
Damn it, people! I've only done two Grade VI's--The NWF of Half Dome and the West Face of El Cap, and you had to go and ruin both of them. Knock it off. Actually, I spent the night on that pitch 11 ledge that fell of HD. Freakin' spooky. As with this rock fall, it's amazing that no one was at the base. Climbers be having some luck with these two rock falls.

BAd
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Sep 17, 2017 - 08:46pm PT
BAD,

There's just as much value in a last ascent as there is with a first ascent.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 17, 2017 - 08:48pm PT
BAD, how do you deal with such guilt?
WBraun

climber
Sep 17, 2017 - 09:55pm PT
Sh!t is supposed to fall off.

It means it is still alive.

If it was dead it would be Disney Land ......
Walleye

climber
The Hot Kiss On the End of a Wet Fist
Sep 17, 2017 - 10:01pm PT
^^^^^^^ LOL! No, really! Bwa-ha-ha! One of the best Yogi quotes ever - seriously.........
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 17, 2017 - 10:04pm PT
hey there, say... Llewelyn Moss...

thank you for the warning, for all the folks here...
EdBannister

Mountain climber
13,000 feet
Sep 18, 2017 - 12:16am PT
Mr. Braun says it well.


besides,

for the things to be exfoliation domes....


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