Yosemite’s Half Dome
August 2, 2011 by staff
Hayley Laflamme, 26, of San Ramon, was hiking with three other people at the top of Half Dome, a granite formation that rises about 4,800 feet above Yosemite Valley in eastern California. She was a descendant of the area cables – the highest in the dome of 400 feet, where hikers stick to fixed metal cables – when she fell, park officials said Monday.
One of his friends called 911 around noon to report the fall, the park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said. Park rangers Laflamme pronounced dead when his body was found, the park said.
The cause of the crash is under investigation Monday.
It had rained in the morning of Sunday, and the roads were wet, Cobb said. The park’s website instructs hikers to the area not to raise the cables when the rock is wet, noting that most accidents happen when cables tracks are slick.
“Ultimately, it’s up to visitors to assess security conditions in any way in the park and take the appropriate decisions to ensure their safety,” said Cobb.
The cables allow hikers to climb the last 400 meters without rock climbing equipment, according to the website. The entire walk is 14 – to 16-mile round trip.
Laflamme had a permit that hikers are required to have to go to the summit, said Cobb. Topics Park 400 permits per day during the months that hikers are allowed to go to the top, from mid May to mid October.
Another four people have died in the Half Dome since 2006. The most recent of these deaths occurred in June 2009, when Manoj Kumar, San Ramon, fell after slipping on wet granite, Cobb said.
Sunday’s death came 11 days after the three Yosemite visitors climbed over a guardrail on the Merced River and were swept away. They are presumed dead, according to Cobb.
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