Even Bigger Rockfall Strikes El Capitan - 1 Injured

National Park Service shows a rock fall off the iconic El Capitan rock formation in Yosemite National Park Calif. (The National Park Service

"If you are looking at solid steep rock, particularly granite slopes, then there's pretty good chance chunks of that may not be able to resist the seductive pull of gravity and come hurtling down", said DeGraff.

A British climber killed Wednesday in a massive rockfall at El Capitan in Yosemite National Park was traveling with his wife on an anniversary "dream holiday", according to British media.

The last time a climber was killed by a rock falling at Yosemite was in 2013, when a Montana climber fell after a rock dislodged and sliced his climbing rope.

National Park Service shows a rock fall off the iconic El Capitan rock formation in Yosemite National Park Calif. (The National Park Service
What causes rockfalls like the deadly one in Yosemite?

Park officials on Friday released a new estimate on the size of Thursday's slide, which was much larger than a deadly slide one day before.

It said Foster and his wife, Lucy, planned to explore the European Alps for a year. Another man suffered injuries and was hospitalized Thursday during a second rock fall, added The Fresno Bee. Rescuers reached them within an hour and pulled them from the rubble, where they were trapped under a rock, Gediman said.

The rock slides began Wednesday afternoon, reported National Geographic.

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Yosemite National Park remains open and Gediman says visitor services have not been affected by the rockfalls over the past couple of days.

On Thursday, more than 30,000 tons of rock fell off of El Capitan into the valley below. The irregular "sheet" of rock that fell is estimated to be 130 feet tall, 65 feet wide, and 3-10 feet thick. Rock falls are very few and far between.

"It's kind of an inherently risky sport", Hayden Jamieson, 24, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., said Friday, as he prepared to head up the nose of El Capitan early today with his climbing partner. "You know, they're usually not visible to us and after the rock fall occurs, we can see a lot better what's going on in their after the fact", says Geologist Stock. One injury was associated with Thursday's rockslide, but no deaths.

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Another set of climbers watched both rockfalls go down on the "Waterfall Route", located on what is known as the East Buttress of El Capitan.

Park officials say rockfalls are normal, but Skalley says he thinks rain and snow this month played a role in the fall.

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