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#16960 - 08/01/11 08:18 AM Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2192
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
More bad news from Yosemite.

"The woman, whose identity hasn't yet been released, is from the Bay Area and was hiking with three friends, said Yosemite spokeswoman Kari Cobb. The hikers were on the cables of the Half Dome summit around noon Sunday when the woman fell 600 feet."
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#16966 - 08/01/11 08:52 AM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: wagga]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
Seems the Sierras this season are showing much like the Himalayas do that it needs to be feared and respected.Insert one of Harveys writings here.

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#16967 - 08/01/11 08:59 AM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: wagga]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7126
Loc: Fresno, CA
That's awful! I wonder if rain was a factor.



.... So much for Half Dome permits making the cables safer.

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#16970 - 08/01/11 09:25 AM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Steve C

.... So much for Half Dome permits making the cables safer.


a permit doesn't hook you to the cables - only a harness and a pair or carabiners on a short rope will.

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#16988 - 08/01/11 04:58 PM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: Steve C]
Mike Condron Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 215
Loc: Now Manteca, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C
That's awful! I wonder if rain was a factor.



.... So much for Half Dome permits making the cables safer.


My understanding is that it was indeed raining at the time. There was also a comment by a person on the cables at the time that "a girl" threw her hands up due to a static shock from the cables. He didn't say that she was the one to fall though. There was also lighting at the time.

I don't know the physics but it seems to me that an active cell that might not produce a lighting strike when the distance to a valley floor is 5000' might readily discharge when passing near Half Dome or Clouds Rest. Mt. Whitney too.
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#16989 - 08/01/11 05:07 PM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: Mike Condron]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2192
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Here's another take, with more detail from The Australian.

(Measurements are in meters - if you are not bimetric, just multiply by 3 for close enough).

"The allure of the park's treacherous features combined with a population of tourists more accustomed to Disneyland than the great outdoors can contribute to a false sense of security.

"A lot of people who visit Yosemite aren't necessarily familiar with nature," said park spokeswoman Kari Cobb.
"
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#16993 - 08/01/11 05:24 PM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: wagga]
Mike Condron Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 215
Loc: Now Manteca, CA
Originally Posted By: wagga
Here's another take, with more detail from The Australian.

(Measurements are in meters - if you are not bimetric, just multiply by 3 for close enough).

"The allure of the park's treacherous features combined with a population of tourists more accustomed to Disneyland than the great outdoors can contribute to a false sense of security.

"A lot of people who visit Yosemite aren't necessarily familiar with nature," said park spokeswoman Kari Cobb.
"


Just to clarify the end of the article; "cables down' only means the stanchions are removed. The cables are in place but are resting on the surface. People do go up them then but have to lift the cable off the granite as they go up.
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#16999 - 08/01/11 09:12 PM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: Mike Condron]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 954
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Helicopter today in YV...not sure why. We had to use the JMT rather than Mist Trail because sniffer dogs were looking for the 3 Vernal Falls bodies and the Mist was off limits for half day.

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#17001 - 08/01/11 10:10 PM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles

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#17003 - 08/02/11 06:55 AM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: Ken]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7126
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks for the link, Ken. Those people were smart in turning around. It was raining, thunder was sounding off.

They finish their video with this text:

Quote:
Turns out, we had left the base of the dome just before 26 year old Hayle LaFlamme of San Ramon fell to her death while trying to descend the cables in pouring rain. We pray for her family.
Please be safe in nature's elements.
Your plans are nothing compared to hers.

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#17019 - 08/02/11 08:44 AM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: wagga]
sdhiker Offline


Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1
Loc: San Diego
Last time I hiked half dome in the late 90's I recall it being said that despite it being scary, no one has ever fallen from the cables, now 5 deaths since 2006. I wonder if decades of foot traffic have smoothed the rock so it's more dangerous now.

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#17020 - 08/02/11 09:10 AM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: sdhiker]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: sdhiker
Last time I hiked half dome in the late 90's I recall it being said that despite it being scary, no one has ever fallen from the cables, now 5 deaths since 2006. I wonder if decades of foot traffic have smoothed the rock so it's more dangerous now.


Well, it sure IS smooth, last time I climbed it. I prefer to go outside the cables, where it is not so slick, and I've climbed it in approach shoes, which have stickier soles than regular hiking boots for traction.

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#17021 - 08/02/11 09:18 AM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: Ken]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7126
Loc: Fresno, CA
When I climbed with Brent N with the cables down in May, I noticed how UNslick the route was. Without the cables tied to the posts, one could move laterally a bit to try the areas outside the posts as well as inside. There really wasn't a noticeable difference. The granite was particularly clean, with excellent traction, due to the winter's snow and precipitation washing the rock completely clean.

On the other hand, I have climbed in summer, and the path between the cables is way more slippery. You can tell it is polished, but even worse, the dust from thousands of feet going up and down provides lubrication.

I can just imagine: Sunday's rain added to that dust must have made for a deadly slick situation.

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#17023 - 08/02/11 11:26 AM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: Steve C]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
I climbed it in 2004 and regretted it. The going up was fine, but going down, I felt it was above my skills at the time as a basic hiker. The granite was slick even dry, particularly in the lower third section. I felt fortunate nothing happened. It was a learning experience for me.


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#17027 - 08/02/11 12:49 PM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: sdhiker]
CaT Offline


Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 694
Loc: Blacklick, OH (formerly SoCal)
Last time I did the cable section (2007), the path inside the cables was, in my opinion, dangerously smooth/slick, even when dry, due to years of wear.

If/when I do it again, I will certainly consider going up and down on the outside of the cables, while holding on to one of the cables.


CaT
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If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracle of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
- Lyndon Johnson, on signing the Wilderness Act into law (1964)

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#17028 - 08/02/11 01:02 PM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: CaT]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1025
Loc: Madison, WI
it was slippery in '88 and '89 when I last went up. It's the dirt people drag up on the granite. Didn't stop us to take full Muir Trail Packs up and down that thing, and it worked just fince since we used this nifty idea to be safe:

this is a modern fancy version of what we used


in action - full harness, dual carabiners and full harness (which we mailed home from Tuolumne Meadows)

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#17046 - 08/02/11 04:40 PM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: Fishmonger]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Image captured from Sentinal Dome Webcam at 12:01, Sunday.





Thank you to LostHillsGuy on the Yosemitenews.info board
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The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#17068 - 08/02/11 06:55 PM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: Akichow]
RichardK Offline


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 78
Loc: East Coast Florida
Originally Posted By: Akichow
I climbed it in 2004 and regretted it. The going up was fine, but going down, I felt it was above my skills at the time as a basic hiker. The granite was slick even dry, particularly in the lower third section. I felt fortunate nothing happened. It was a learning experience for me.



I know exactly what you mean. My wife and I dayhiked HD in '08. Going up - no big deal. Going down - at the limit of my ability. Thank God that I bought good rope gloves to grip the cable.

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#17071 - 08/02/11 07:15 PM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: Fishmonger]
DonCoqui Offline


Registered: 06/28/11
Posts: 47
Loc: Chula Vista, CA
Fishmonger, what's the weight rating on the fancy gadget in the photo?


Edited by DonCoqui (08/03/11 03:38 AM)

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#17161 - 08/04/11 04:01 AM Re: Woman Falls 600 Feet From Yosemite's Half Dome Summit [Re: DonCoqui]
Burchey
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: DonCoqui
Fishmonger, what's the weight rating on the fancy gadget in the photo?


I'm pretty sure the ones you can buy aren't anything you'd want to take a fall on, but they should be fine for the cables as long as you don't try to run and jump off while attached.

I made my own sweet set using a couple small wire-gate biners ( camp nano?) and climbing-spec webbing with a little shock-cord. Works beautifully, slightly heavier than the models for sale, but much much cheaper and much much stronger.

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