Twenty-two Year Old Dies in Rappelling Accident on El Cap

On May 27, Tyler, a 22-year-old from Colorado, died in yet another tragic rappelling accident after taking an over 200-foot fall on the Nose of El Capitan.

By Liz Haas | May 29th, 2015

Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan, scene of the May 27 rappelling accident.On May 27, Tyler, a 22-year-old from Colorado, died in yet another tragic rappelling accident after a 200-foot fall on the Nose of El Capitan.

According to Tom Evans of the El Cap Report, who talked to Tyler’s two climbing partners, Cletis and Ryan, after the incident, all three of the climbers were at Camp VI when Tyler decided to rappel down to Camp V to recover some dropped gear.

Tyler was descending the two pitches on a single rappel rope. According to his climbing partners, he had tied a knot in the end of the rope before lowering, however, when Tyler leaned off the cliff to begin his descent, he freefell the entire length of the rope, hitting the highest ledge at Camp V.

Ryan rappelled down to Tyler and found that Tyler was not connected to his belay device. It is unclear whether Tyler neglected to clip his GriGri to the rope, or if he had somehow clipped it incorrectly.

Yosemite Search and Rescue responded later that evening, raising all three climbers to the summit of El Cap, five pitches above Camp VI, before flying them to the Valley floor.

“Sadly, the lesson here is to check and double check your set up whenever you commit yourself to the rope,” wrote Evans. “Also, all members of the team should look to see that anyone going on a rope is properly attached to it. It only takes a moment to look and it could save a life.”

The last names of the three climbers have not been released.

More information will be posted as it is available.


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