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Half Dome Hiker Falls to His Death in Yosemite


A male hiker fell to his death from Half Dome on Saturday afternoon at about 3:40 p.m.

The victim, whose name has not been released, had apparently been using the cable handrails.
Weather conditions were poor at the time of the accident, with rain and hail having made the granite dangerously slippery.

Other climbers witnessed the accident. Afterward, rangers helped more than two dozen other Half Dome hikers descend to safety.

Like the Angels Landing climb at Zion National Park, Yosemite’s Half Dome cable handrail climb has attracted a good deal of attention because of its high risk factor and occasional fatal accidents. The last fatality at Half Dome occurred two years ago this month when a Japanese hiker slipped and fell from the cable handrails.

The vast majority of the 50,000 or so people who hike the Half Dome Trail each year negotiate it safely. However, accidents like the one that happened yesterday underscore the fact that poor weather and other factors can make the cable handrail climb lethally dangerous.


This is tragic ----- however, people fall in their own homes more often than in national parks. --- all tragic , but other than some training & education lets not make more laws and rules !!!!!

We were having a conversation about things like this yesterday. It seems there are more accidents than usual across the NPS so far this year. I'm wondering a) if statistics proves that out, or if it's just higher media reporting than usual, b) if there is a statistical rise in accidents, is it because the economy is forcing more novices to take NPS vacations than normal, or c) if cost cutbacks throughout the NPS has led to a reduction in safety.



My travels through the National Park System:

I don't have access to summary data on accidents throughout the National Park System for this year, Barky, but even if I knew the numbers I wouldn't get too excited about them. Ups and downs are to be expected in the short run (a few months to a few years). I don't want to speculate about possible causes of these short term oscillations, and I certainly wouldn't want the Park Service to base policy- and decision-making on that kind of evidence. That said, investigations of accidents, even rare ones, may suggest things that can be done to reduce risks to visitors. I'm all for that.

Tragic to say the least...But hundreds of people die everyday in car accidents...Higher risk activities doesn't result with implementing more laws to cause less problems...More laws just backs a jacked up judicial system and makes things more difficult

I was there...very tragic. This gentelman was not wearing any safety equipment and was on the outside of the cables. The conditions were horrible...rain, hail and clouds which made visibilty poor and the granite very slippery. The man was playing with death and unfornatley it was his time to go. Everyone yesterday day took a chance with there life. Multiple individuals were not properly dressed. Some in shorts, t-shirts and teva sandles. When in the mountains always be prepared.

I hiked to Nevada Fall yesterday and two things happened: A little girl got her fingers smashed by a careless hiker on the Mist Trail who was trying to get past her and her parents and another group of people were complaining that the almost fell when a group of Japanese guys pushed their way ahead of them on the way up to the top of Nevada Falls. Wonder if something like that was the case here.................everyone is in such a hurry.

Perhaps we are making it too easy for people to get in over their heads. Why are there cable handrails there in the first place?

I understand the cables being placed there otherwise, people would use their own ropes and equipment. the park service is ultimately responsible for regulating traffic flow, and should have a way of discouraging people on poor weather days.

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