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Wednesday, May 2,2012

Rockfall Killed Two Climbers

A 12,000-pound block of rock 16 to 20 feet long, three feet wide, and a foot thick dislodged by the leader killed the Norwegian climbers Bjørn-Eivind Årtun, 45, and Stein-Ivar Gravdal, 37, according to the accident report released by the Rogaland Alpine Rescue Unit (Rogaland Alpine Redningsgruppe).

The accident occurred on February 12, at approximately 2:50 pm according to photos the climbers had taken just moments before the accident.

Årtun and Gravdal were attempting a new mixed route on the massive 3,000-foot high Kjerag wall in the Lysefjord in southwestern Norway. In 2009, Årtun, with Stein Ivar Gravdahl, established Strandhogg (2,500 feet M5 WI6 A0) and two days later with Annelin Henriksen did the first ascent of Pin-up (2,000 feetWI6).

According to the report, Årtun and Gravdal had competed three pitches, soloing the first two of moderate ice and belaying on the third, steeper ice pitch.


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