Two climbers killed in fall from El Capitan in Yosemite National Park

Park rangers gather in front of Yosemite Falls in California's Yosemite National Park in 2016

Two hikers died in California's Yosemite National Park on Saturday morning while they were climbing El Capitan, officials said.

Two rock climbers fell to their deaths while climbing El Capitan at Yosemite National Park in California.

The two climbers were identified as Tim Klein, 42, of Palmdale, and Jason Wells, 46, of Boulder, Colo., according to the park service.

Updated 6:05 p.m. with names of climbers.

Rangers are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Brady Robinson, the executive director of the Access Fund, an organization that seeks to protect climbing areas in the United States, said Mr. Wells was one of his best friends, and they often climbed together on routes in Boulder.

And in 2015, Tyler Gordon fell to his death while climbing the Nose. In 2013, Felix Kiernan died on the East Buttress after being hit by rockfall dislodged by the leader.

A total of 51 climbers have died from traumatic injuries in the park from 1970 through 1990, according data posted online by the Park Service. The technique does involve ropes, but falling is still "incredibly unsafe because there is no fixed anchor to take the force of the fall" with this technique. He said Klein was known for his speed and knowledge of El Capitan.

Richards is not sure if the climbers were "hands free" or using ropes.



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