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Famous Climber Hospitalized & Injured After Fall Off Yosemite's El Capitan

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By Gary Trock

Emily Harrington is a world-renowned mountaineer and adventurer, and she's currently counting her blessings after taking a scary tumble off one of the most famous rocks around and living to tell the tale. Harrington, who is sponsored by outdoor companies like, The North Face, is a five-time US National Champion in sport climbing and has even summited Mount Everest. She set out over the weekend on a recreational climb up Yosemite's El Capitan, a rock she has climbed multiple times.

'I Had An Accident'

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Harrington set out on her climb with a group of friends, including Alex Honnold, who won an Academy Award for his amazing documentary, "Free Solo," which takes place on El Cap.

Unfortunately, the day did not go as planned, and Harrington later updated fans from a hospital bed while at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, about 60 miles south of Yosemite. Harrington appeared extremely banged up and bloody but was still throwing up a peace sign while explaining what happened.

"I had an accident yesterday on El Cap. I’m banged up but gonna be ok thankfully. Not much to say except I took a bad fall and pin balled a bit then somehow hit the rope w my neck - 🤷🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ All I know is that I am extremely grateful to have had @adrianballinger @alexhonnold @jonglassberg @sannimccandless @tarakerzhner and YOSAR of course there to get me out and help me through ❤️ // thanks everyone who sent kind messages and thoughts - feeling so supported and loved."

Harrington showed the mark the rope left on her neck, which left a deep bruise during the accident. It's unclear if she was airlifted to the hospital or was driven by her group, but she's keeping a positive attitude amid the injuries.

She Had Been Practicing

Accidents can happen, even with true professionals like Emily Harrington. She had scaled El Capitan, which towers at 3,000 ft, many times before and was even practicing in the days leading up to the accident. Earlier this month she shared a photo after a particularly difficult day of climbing.

"Progress that feels like climbing an offwidth...is still progress nonetheless. It’s been slow and steady (and still a bit bloody) over here. El Cap is still like a big scary hairless cat, but I’m starting to appreciate its awkward demeanor a bit more than usual these days."

Her Free Climb

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Earlier this year, Harrington made a successful summit of El Capitan during a free climb that took 6 days. She was even featured on "Good Morning America" as she got ready for the climb and was given support by her boyfriend, who is also a famous climber.

Adrian Ballinger has summited Everest multiple times and is also sponsored by The North Face. He has been a rock of support for Harrington throughout their relationship as they support each other in both personal and professional endeavors. Luckily, he was at El Capitan this past weekend when Harrington's accident occurred and was able to help get her to the hospital. The two famous climbers met in 2012 during a trip to Mount Everest and have been together ever since. They are regularly separated due to constant climbing schedules but regularly appear on each other's social media.

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