The National Park Service reported that a hiker on the popular Half Dome cables in Yosemite National Park fell to his death on Monday afternoon. The hiker lost his footing during a thunderstorm and fell from the cables. The incident took place at about 4:30 p.m. The male hiker was with one other person, who was not physically harmed in the incident and who managed to alert authorities of the fall. However, park rangers did not recover the fallen hiker’s body until the following day.
According to a press release put out by the National Park Service, this was the first death within the park in 2018 and the first on the Half Dome cables since 2010. The National Park Service acknowledged that most incidents with the Half Dome cables occur during periods of inclement weather.
Yosemite National Park, located in northern California east of San Francisco, hosts over four million visitors each year, primarily in the valley portion of the park. Half Dome is located in the eastern portion of the park and requires an access permit for day hikers, with a lottery system awarding permits each March. The hike is about 16 miles roundtrip, with the summit rising nearly 5,000 feet above the base of Yosemite Valley and 8,800 feet above sea level. Both intermediate and advanced hikers make regular use of the trail access. Two metal cables are attached to the dome, allowing summit seekers to ascend the hike’s final 400 feet free of technical gear. Without use of the cables, rock climbing equipment would be necessary to reach the summit.