Yosemite Rock Climber Dies, Missing Teen Still Not Found


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A British rock climber on Yosemite National Park's famous El Capitan died this week after being struck by a loose rock.

According to the U.S. National Park Service, 28-year-old Felix Kiernan died on Sunday while climbing El Capitan. Kiernan and his climbing partner were estimated to have climbed 600 feet up the rock face by 2 pm, when a rock was dislodged by the partner. The rock, estimated to be one foot by two feet, fell around 150 feet before hitting Kiernan.

Another climbing party beneath Kiernan contacted Yosemite's Emergency Communication Center, and Park Rangers and Search and Rescue personnel were dispatched. Rescue workers climbed the route to Kiernan, who they pronounced dead at around 4 pm. A California Highway Patrol helicopter and Yosemite park helicopter were both involved in inserting rescue equipment and park rangers onto the wall, as well as hoisting Kiernan's body to Yosemite Valley.

The incident comes just days after 19-year-old Aleh Kalman went missing after being swept over Nevada Fall last Saturday. The teen was visiting the park with a church group, and was swimming above the fall when a current swept him over. A search for the teen has been ongoing since the weekend, but his body has not been recovered.

(Image courtesy Mike Murphy/Wikimedia Commons)