Tragedy struck Yosemite National Park on September 28th when a seasoned Korean climbing guide lost his life while descending from the iconic El Capitan route known as The Nose. Reports indicate that the accident occurred as he was rappelling off the end of his rope from Sickle Ledge.
Yosemite enthusiast Tom Evans, known for his “El Cap Report” blog, shared the heartbreaking news on September 29th. The climbing community in Yosemite, renowned for its closeness, came together to mourn his loss and offer condolences to his family and friends during this difficult period. Sickle Ledge, located around 400 feet above the ground, is a well-known rest stop for climbers eyeing El Cap.
Eyewitnesses who were present at the scene later shared their accounts on platforms like Reddit and Mountain Project. One hiker described the traumatic experience, explaining how the fallen climber landed just five feet from her, covering her and her gear in debris from the impact. Another climber recounted the sheer speed and violence of the fall, emphasizing the startling sound and shock of the incident.
This tragic accident serves as a sobering reminder of the risks climbers face while descending. According to the American Alpine Club’s annual report on climbing accidents, approximately 30% of climbing accidents occur during descents. Many of these incidents involve rappelling off the end of ropes due to the omission of a stopper knot, a mistake that has claimed the lives of climbers like Brad Gobright in 2019.