Rock Climber Dies In A Yosemite BASE-Jumping Accident

Rock Climber Dies In A Yosemite BASE-Jumping Accident
Dean Potter from his Facebook page

Dean Potter, an adventure-seeker known for being the first to climb without ropes on the El Capitan and Half Dome in the Yosemite National Park, died in a BASE-jumping accident on Saturday. He was with his fellow jumper, Graham Hunt.


According to a New York Times report, they took off at Taft Point in their wingsuits and failed to steer clear off the granite cliffs ahead. Both did not open their parachutes. A spotter who watched them take off heard a “pop-pop” sound, which she hoped were parachutes opening, said the same report.

Their bodies were recovered Sunday morning after being spotted by a helicopter.

The Yosemite authorities have already banned BASE jumping, but Potter was one of those who were able to defy the rules.

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Recently, Potter was able to set a record for climbing the Half Dome in 1:19 and back with a total time of 2:18.

In 2001, he climbed the nose route of El Capitan undr a record 3 hours 24 minutes. He was the first to free climb (no ropes except to catch falls) both El Capitan and Half Dome in 24 hours.

On one of his last posts on his Instagram account, he said,

First ever FreeBASE #solo. I innovated this new form of #rock #climbing in 2008 on the North Buttress of the #Eiger in #Switzerland. This concept of turning dying into #flying is a metaphor for my basic life principle… Quite often there is a way to change the worse things we have going on into the best things which become our strengths. Photo by my mentor and #mastermind Beat Kammerlander.


He was living in Yosemite with his girlfriend, Jenn Rapp, and her children.