Fall on Rock, Free-Soloing, California, Yosemite — Tuolumne Meadows, Cathedral Peak

Publication Year: 2011.


California, Yosemite – Tuolumne Meadows, Cathedral Peak

On the afternoon of July 9th, rangers received a report that a climber had fallen approximately 400 to 500 feet while descending the Eichorn Pinnacle on Cathedral Peak. Rangers responded by helicopter and quickly located the climber, identified as Christina Chan (31). Her body was removed from the scene via short-haul by a park contract helicopter.


Chan was a very experienced climber, with roped-solo ascents of difficult Grade VI routes on El Capitan. According to those who interacted with her on Cathedral Peak that day, she was in good spirits and climbing with skill and confidence. Eric Cohen caught a glimpse of about 20 feet of Chan’s fall, but no one knows what caused it. Free-soloing is here to stay, but even the lowest grade levels can be fatal when the rope is left in the car. (Source: John Dill and Jesse McGahey, NPS Rangers)