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Re: Boy Scout dies in Yosemite

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avatar Boy Scout dies in Yosemite
February 19, 2008 07:54AM
Boy Scout dies after fall during Yosemite hike

last updated: February 19, 2008 07:14:41 AM

YOSEMITE -- A 12-year-old Boy Scout from Modesto died when he wandered away from his group hiking toward Upper Yosemite Fall and fell about 300 feet, a National Park Service spokeswoman said Monday.

The name of the boy wasn't released, and Yosemite officials couldn't confirm which Boy Scout troop he belonged to.

The accident occurred about 2:15 p.m. Saturday on Yosemite Falls Trail above Columbia Rock, park spokeswoman Adrienne Freeman said. The boy and another Scout got in front of their group and strayed off the trail toward the steep drop where the accident occurred.

The second Scout was not injured, Freeman said.

"There is no indication that he was doing anything wrong," she said. "It was a horrible accident."

There was snow and ice on parts of the trial, Freeman said, but not where the boy fell. Rescue teams used two routes to reach the boy's body. He was pronounced dead at 3:14 p.m.

It is the first hiking fatality of the year in Yosemite, Freeman said.
Re: Boy Scout dies in Yosemite
February 21, 2008 10:08AM
some news reports are saying the other scout/hiker also fell at the same time ... is that true ? (seems far-fetched)
Re: Boy Scout dies in Yosemite
February 21, 2008 12:23PM
After reading books like "Death in Yosemite" and similar ones, you begin to realize that a lot of accidents happen when the person isn't doing anything technically "wrong".

The fact that they were ahead of the group may mean they were hurrying, or not using due care (having hiked with teen and pre-teen kids, that's a very good possibility). I've been on that trail in February, and at least the upper part can get very slippery and icy, though it's usually not bad near Columbia point. Going off-trail on their own is another questionable activity that increases the likelihood tremendously of something going wrong.

Not that I'm against going off-trail or hiking without a group (or alone), but you have to realize the dangers and be extra-careful when you make those choices, and kids aren't as likely to do that on their own.

Simple things like hurrying, taking a shortcut, standing on a rock in the river for a photo, filling a canteen from a rock by the river, not taking enough warm clothes because you don't plan to be that long, all seem pretty innocent, but they consistently cause accidents and deaths in the parks. This one maybe could have been prevented if they had been made to stay with the group, because at that age you can't expect them to be too careful. Not that anyone's necessarily to blame, but it's still very sad to hear.

Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Boy Scout dies in Yosemite
February 21, 2008 12:30PM
I've been on the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail a couple of times, and I'd strongly advise that anyone reconsider going off trail. Especially during the winter when there's tons of snow ans slush. I slipped and fell a few times staying on the trail. That being said, it is spectacular.

avatar Re: Boy Scout dies in Yosemite
February 22, 2008 12:02PM
i wonder if there will be a lawsuit over this (scout leaders etc). i'd be afraid these days of being a leader, people are too sue happy nowadays.
Re: Boy Scout dies in Yosemite
February 22, 2008 03:40PM
Is the Pope Catholic?

If the family hasn't contacted a lawyer yet, I'd bet 50 of them have tried to contact the family. Things happen. There really should not be a lawsuit, but there will be.

Does anyone know exactly where this happened? I've been on that trail several dozen times. I can think of a few places on the trail where you could fall 300 feet. But because of the many switchbacks between the top of the middle falls and the upper falls, well, I'm just trying to picture where you could fall 300 feet without something to break your fall.

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