In a year when an unusually large number of fatalities occurred in Yosemite Nation Park it is good to hear that another near casualty has a happy ending.
Two climbers were attempting to climb El Capitan, and were nearing the top, when the lead climber fell, by some reports 1,000 feet, and had his thumb severed when his safety rope rapped around it. The thumb fell onto a small ledge where his climbing partner was able to retrieve it.
A rescue helicopter was able to make a technically difficult rescue, know as a “short haul”, and the climber and thumb were soon on there way to California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco where surgeons were able to reattach the thumb.
Officials have not released any information about the climbers other than that they are from Austria.
Yosemite’s El Capitan is considered one of the more difficult ascents in the world and has been the site of previous serious injuries and deaths.