Officials have released the identity of the man who was killed in a fall from Half Dome at Yosemite National Park on Saturday afternoon. He was 40-year Manoj Kumar, a resident of San Ramon, California.
According to Yosemite spokeswoman Kari Cobb, Mr. Kumar had visited the summit and was descending on the cable handrail portion of the Half Dome Trail at about 3:40 p.m. when eyewitnesses saw him slip and fall about 100 feet.
Low clouds were present, and rain and hail made surfaces dangerously slippery.
Rangers summoned by 911 calls were helicoptered to Half Dome, but the victim was beyond help; Mr. Kumar was pronounced dead at the scene.
Traumatized by the accident, and worried about the dangerous weather and surface conditions, many of the more than 40 other hikers on Half Dome felt they would be unable to safely descend without assistance. Some placed 911 calls to report they were stranded.
It was after 8:00 p.m. before rangers finished getting everyone down and on their way to the trailhead. Some of the hikers didn’t return to the trailhead until Sunday afternoon.
An accident investigation is pending. Park officials have emphasized that Half Dome hikers must exercise due caution. Signs warn hikers not to proceed up the cables if thunderstorms or rainy conditions threaten.