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Suit by Climber's Family Dismissed
December 12, 2005 11:34AM
Suit by Climber's Family Dismissed
A federal judge rules that Yosemite park officials weren't obligated to post warnings at the site of a deadly rockfall.
By Eric Bailey
Times Staff Writer

December 12, 2005

A federal judge threw out a $10-million wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the family of a young rock climber killed in a 1999 slide in Yosemite Valley, short-circuiting a legal battle that some climbers feared could threaten a mecca of the sport.

In a largely technical decision, the U.S. District Court judge in Fresno ruled last week that Yosemite National Park officials were acting within their discretionary duties when they didn't post warnings at the base of Glacier Point, site of the rockfall that killed 21-year-old Peter Terbush.

Terbush, a college student from Colorado on his first trip to Yosemite Valley, was on the ground anchoring a climbing partner's belay rope when a huge granite slab broke loose 1,300 feet up and cartwheeled to earth............

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-terbush12dec12,1,5701671.story?coll=la-headlines-california

leaking bathroom water system?
December 13, 2005 12:30AM
The Times article presents the family's rationale for the lawsuit:

...."His family launched a legal fight after learning of a geologist's theory that a leaking bathroom water system atop Glacier Point artificially lubricated the cliff face, unleashing a flurry of rock slides in the months before the tragedy.

They argued that the park negligently created the rockfall danger, then failed to warn visitors like Terbush."


According to the Times article, a geologist investigated a rock fall in 1997 and eventually developed the theory that "he contends correlate water overflows in 1998, 1999 and 2000 with subsequent rockfalls."

"Watts believed the culprit was water overflowing from a 300,000-gallon storage tank atop Glacier Point. That water, he concluded, pooled in fractures and put pressure on the rock, acting like a lever that could trigger a slide."

avatar Re: leaking bathroom water system?
December 14, 2005 11:45AM
Even if the water triggered the rock fall, it would have happened sooner or later anyway. It was just bad luck that the climber got caught in it.

Re: leaking bathroom water system?
December 17, 2005 07:23AM
The wilderness is not DisneyLand. Trees fall, lightning strikes, there are floods and rock falls. This has been happening since time began. No one can control or take responsibility for it.





Jon Shannon
www.YosemiteTrailsDVD.com
Has NPS fixed it?
December 17, 2005 11:53AM
Has the NPS actually "fixed the problem"?


"Preparing to rappel off the cliff face, [Skip Watts, a Radford University Professor] was surprised by the smell of sewage wafting from leaking pipes at the old bathrooms atop Glacier Point. He theorized that the effluent helped trigger the 1996 rockfall."

"Federal officials say they fixed the problem."...........
By Eric Bailey, Times Staff Writer

avatar Re: Suit by Climber's Family Dismissed
January 18, 2006 12:47AM
A bit of perspective is in order here. It's not like Glacier Point is out in a middle of a bone-dry desert. I bet a whole lot more water melts each year from the snow pack that forms on top of Glacier Point each winter than the amount that leaks from the 300,000-gallon storage tank that's located above Glacier Point.

I do feel sorry for the family of the rock climber that got killed during the rockslide, but suing the Park Service over this was a bit ridiculous.





Leave No Trace
avatar Re: Suit by Climber's Family Dismissed
January 18, 2006 10:51AM
plawrence wrote:

> I bet a whole
> lot more water melts each year from the snow pack that forms on
> top of Glacier Point each winter than the amount that leaks
> from the 300,000-gallon storage tank that's located above
> Glacier Point.

You can get some idea from the webcam located near Glacier Point:

http://www.yosemite.org/vryos/sentinelcam.htm

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