A 26-year-old California woman was killed by a 600-foot fall while working her way down the cables on Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, according to a park release.
The fatality on Sunday was the first since the park instituted a permit system with hopes of improving safety on the route to the top of the iconic granite dome.
According to a park release, at about noon on Sunday the park's emergency communications center received a 911 phone call reporting a fall of a hiker on the Half Dome cables. Hayley LaFlamme, from San Ramon, California, had gone to the top of Half Dome and was descending when she fell 600 feet off the cables, the release said, adding that rangers pronounced her deceased upon arrival on scene.
While an investigation into the accident was continuing Monday, the park reported a "severe lightning, thunder, and rainstorm was present in the area of Half Dome for several hours in the morning and early afternoon on Sunday."
"This type of weather can make for hazardous trail conditions and the granite slopes become very slick," the release said.
The last hiker who died on Half Dome was Majoj Kumar, from San Ramon, California, on June 13, 2009, according to park records. Before that, on June 16, 2007, Hirofumi Nohara, slipped to his death on the cables. Two other Half Dome fatalities involved women who were hiking on Half Dome when the cables were down. These were Jennifer Bettles, who died on April 21, 2007 and Emily Sandal, who died on November 8, 2006.