Safety

Rock climbers react to fatal incident in Yosemite

They say risks are always there

Local rock climbers react to Yosemite collapse at El Capitan

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Local rock climbers are reacting to the two major incidents at the Yosemite National Park this week. One was fatal.

Will Russ the owner of Santa Barbara Rock Gym says one of his members was at the El Capitan formation when the tragedy occurred.

A rock climber for five years Chloe Steindam says she has been to El Capitan and surrounding rock formations where hikers come from around the world to test their skills.

While working out in the Santa Barbara Rock Gym she said, "any rock face that you are going to climb,  there is always a risk that there is rock that is going to be falling, whether it is a  big rock or a massive rock like the one that just happened or a smaller one."

She said even with the rock slides she will be going there before the end of the year.  Steindam says the chances are, "so low that I am not willing to give up climbing in Yosemite because there is a very slight possibility that might happen."
 
The National Park Service says, on average there are 100 climbing accidents and 25 rescues a year in Yosemite.
 
The cause of the slide is not known, but there have been some rainy days and some snow recently along with heat.  That combination, some believe, causes the rock formations to expand and contract.

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