Rappel Failure, California, Yosemite Valley

Publication Year: 1979.


California, Yosemite Valley

John Garten (24), John Nygaard (22), and Jeffrey Graves (22), all experienced 5.10 climbers, fell to their deaths on May 14 while descending the Nose on El Ca- pitan. The exact cause will never be known, but evidence revealed that both hangers failed and that possibly the manner in which the climber tied in was incorrect. (Source: Charles Farabee Jr., Yosemite National Park)

(Ed. Note: This accident generated “one of the most complete and intensive [investigations] in Yosemite’s history,” according to Tim Setnicka. The editor recommends an article written by Setnicka, which analyzes the accident, in Off Belay, August 1978, Number 40.)