Climber says new Yosemite rock fall was massive

Posted at 5:24 PM, Sep 28, 2017

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) -- Climber in Yosemite National Park says a second rock slide was easily "three times the size" of a massive rock fall a day earlier that killed a British climber.

Ken Yager of the Yosemite Climbing Association said Thursday's rock fall was larger than the one a day before on the iconic rock formation.

RELATED: One dead, one injured inrock fallat Yosemite's El Capitan

Yager says he witnessed a large cloud of dust and heard sirens. Images show a huge plume of dust in the wake of the rock fall. He says traffic on a road near the base of El Capitan has stopped. 

Ryan Sheridan had just reached the top of El Capitan when Thursday's slide let loose below him.

He told The Associated Press that "there was so much smoke and debris" and clouds of dust filled the entire valley below.

He said Thursday's rock slide happened in the same location as the one on Wednesday at the El Capitan rock formation.

Yosemite National Park officials say they have closed one of the exit routes from the park after a new rock fall from El Capitan.

The park records about 80 rock falls per year, though they are rarely fatal.