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At approximately 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, 2010, the Yosemite Emergency Dispatch Center received a call regarding a climber that had fallen on a popular climbing route on El Capitan. The climber, a 48 year old male from France, fell approximately 65 feet and sustained head and chest injuries and a loss of consciousness. A second party on the climbing route was able to provide basic emergency medical assistance until Park Rangers arrived.
The climber, and his partner were on a popular climbing route on El Capitan called the Salathe Wall. This is one of the most famous and popular technical rock climbs in the world. In its entirety, the climbing route spans 3,500 feet in length. The accidental fall occurred on a prominent feature on the route known as the El Cap Spire, at approximately 1,600 feet above Yosemite Valley.
Two Yosemite National Park Rangers were airlifted to the location of the injured climber at approximately 7:00 a.m. today, Friday, May 21. Additionally, a team of twelve search and rescue personnel were airlifted to the summit of El Capitan to provide further assistance. Once Park Rangers secured the climber, a California Highway Patrol helicopter assisted in hoisting him off of the climbing route. He was then airlifted to Doctors Medical Center of Modesto.
The cause of the climber’s fall is unknown.