YOSEMITE – An experienced climber from Columbia Falls, Montana, plunged to his death on Sunday, May 19, while attempting to reach the summit of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, according to Yosemite National Park spokesperson Kari Cobb.
Mason Robison was climbing with a partner about 600 feet from the summit of the 3,000-foot granite monolith just after 9 a.m. when a large rock flake holding a piece of safety gear broke loose.Robison’s rope was severed as he fell, and and he dropped some 230 feet. Though a secondary rope caught him and stopped the fall, the injuries sustained were fatal.
Search & Rescue and park rangers were delivered by helicopter to the top of El Capitan, where two rangers were lowered down to the men. They reached Robison’s climbing partner, who was uninjured, about 600 feet down the face.
At 800 feet, they reached Robison, who was hanging motionless on the wall. He was deceased at the time the rescue team reached him.
His body was flown to the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office for autopsy.
This is the second fatality of the year in Yosemite. Earlier this month, a 73-year-old Minnesota man fell to his death at Vernal Fall.