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Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?

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What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 14, 2011 01:57PM
I haven't heard the details but apparently someone died on Vernal Falls Friday as well as Yosemite Falls. Anyone know what happened?
Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 14, 2011 02:07PM
Second hand info: I was in the Valley that day. A male apparently slipped off of rocks or a cliff beteween the lower bridge and the falls. Very very sad.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2011 08:16AM by mtn man.
Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 14, 2011 08:24PM
Vernal or Yose?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2011 09:59AM by hotrod4x5.
Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 14, 2011 08:38PM
Vernal, apparently below close to where the steps begin.
avatar Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 14, 2011 04:38PM
All I can add was that he was an adult male hiking alone.
Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 15, 2011 06:13PM
My friend and I had just started hiking up the Yosemite Falls trail on Friday when we were passed by two of the members of YOSAR heading up to the incident on that trail. An older male had slipped and fallen coming down and was only around 5 minutes from the start of the trail up at one of the first few switchbacks. I'm not entirely sure what exactly he died from but seeing as how he didn't have any physical injuries it looked like it was most likely some sort of internal injury (heart attack? stroke?). He was with an older lady(his wife?) and a younger guy(son?) both of whom were just torn apart by it; It was pretty gut-wrenching to witness. They did CPR for quite a while and then started making preparations to bring his body back down around the time we moved on.

I've never seen YOSAR in action before and, while the results of this incident were fatal, those guys and gals were professionals to the core. I have a newfound respect for what they do and how they do it.

Edit: Also, we went up on Saturday to hike the Mist trail but it was closed off for them to do the body recovery. They finished around 4 o'clock that afternoon and reopened the trail.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2011 06:16PM by ddennis.
avatar Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 15, 2011 07:16PM
This may be a good time to refresh this thread on safety:

http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,34198



Old Dude
Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 15, 2011 10:44PM
I was there. Friday, my husband, daughter and I were hiking Mist Trail. There was a group of 30 kids in front of us and a older gentleman and lady behind us. We got to the top of Vernal Falls for lunch. We decided to continue on to Nevada Falls and do the 5 mile loop back. We got back to the .3 mile marker before Vernal Falls and the Rangers had is closed off. We saw the Search and Rescue guy with his dry diving suit hiking up past the .3 mile marker (just above the Bridge). We found out that is was the older gentleman. He had started down the steps where it is really wet and slipped off the trail into the water and was smashed up against big boulders. He was killed instantly. The group of 30 kids was behind him and saw his body wedged up against rocks dead. The rescue team closed it off to recover the body but said it may wait until summer or fall for the water to calm down.

The water in every river and falls is rapid and dangerous. Lots of snow pack and run off is crazy.

Another ranger said a man died on the trail of Upper Yosemite Falls that same day. He was running down the trail and fell and hit his head on a rock and died instantly.

Terrible news for everyone.

Yosemite is a Gift from God but can be dangerous. The weather was incredible. Today we woke up to 2 feet of snow and snowing at 6,000 ft elev. at Yosemite West.

The hike was amazing before we heard the news. Half Dome is next trip.
Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 07:05AM
Could you verify dates? We were at Yosemite all week. Hiked Nevada falls on Tuesday. On the shuttle to Yosemite falls friday morning, heard that hiker had died below vernall falls on Thursday. We heard this Friday morning. Are we saying that someone died below vernal both Thursday and Friday? And someone on Yosemite falls trail on Friday? Three deaths in two days?
Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 07:50AM
I can only verify about the one I knew of which was Friday morning at Vernal (I was in the Valley and heard it on my scanner). There was a helicopter that came in to pick up a patient on Thursday afternoon but that was for a bicycle accident which as far as I know was injuries only.
Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 12:43PM
All I know is two deaths on Friday, May 13th. Vernal Falls incident was at approximately noon.
avatar Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 08:06AM
Please be compassionate about such instances and very cautious about what you write.
A seemingly innocent comment may not come off as you intended to friends and family of the person involved.

My deepest condolences,
Chick-on is looking at you!



Chick-on is looking at you!
avatar Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 11:40AM
Those steps at Vernal on the descent scare the hell out of me during high flow. I take them extremely slowly and have had tons of people passing me because of it. You always hear about people dying on the Mist Trail when they make dumb decisions like swimming in the Emerald Pool, but it's really sad to see someone die while doing things the right way. Maybe it might make sense to put a sign up at Vernal warning people to take the descent slowly in May/June/July. When people see lots of other people doing things the same way, they get the idea that thing is safe.
avatar Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 12:15PM
Personally, I prefer not descending down the Mist Trail below Vernal Falls when its wet and crowded with other hikers. I'd rather continue on past Vernal Falls and hike up to Clark's Point and then take the JMT back down to the valley.
avatar Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 12:38PM
That's what we did back in May 2005, another big water year. Although I'm a Capricorn, and am stubborn as a goat, I am not goat-like when it comes to rocks and steps and whatnot. Rather grace-less in that area.

We were talking about this last night, and I was encouraging the boy to invest in a pair of actual hiking boots. Before last summer, I'd only done light hikes in my old, demoted running shoes. But I decided to get serious about hiking, and bought myself a pair of real hiking boots. Not backpacking-quality, but good for day hikes. Wow! What a difference. I felt much more confident going on areas I used to shy away from.

When we hiked up Mist Trail (and out to Wapama Fall) I was amazed at how many people I saw out there in street shoes -- loafers, sandals, flip-flops. I have to wonder what role that may have played.

Yosemite is a National Park, but it's not like your local city park. It is a semi-wild place. They do what they can to put up warning signs and railings, but in the end, we're all responsible for knowing what is safe and what isn't. It really saddens me when I hear of people dying. I guess that is the risk one takes out in the wild.
Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 12:51PM
My mistake earlier. We heard about this Saturday morning, not Friday morning. There. Is some information in an article in the Merced sun star.

Obviously a tragic day.
Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 01:14PM
avatar Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 01:35PM
Tragic.

The Merced Sun-Star has a bit more details in the story they have now posted online, including three photos of the recovery effort for the man that drowned in the Merced.

Merced Sun-Star: Two Hikers Killed in Separate Incidents at Yosemite

One of the photos of the body recovery effort:
The man that slipped and fell on the Mist Trail was a 60-year-old professor from the University of Texas, Austin. The man that slipped and fell on the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail was a 27-year-old man from Berkeley, CA.

My sincere condolences to the families, friends, and acquaintances of those two men.

Edit: Recovery image removed in consideration of the family -- Moderator



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2011 07:21PM by Bee.
avatar Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 03:54PM
Tragic on both counts.

I have an absolute fear of falling (ie. when we hiked to the top of Yosemite Falls in 2005, I refused to go out to the observation area because of that tiny little walkway). My heart goes out to these families, as well as the other hikers who had to witness such a horrible sight.

Please be careful out there.
Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 04:48PM
UT associate dean dies in fall at Yosemite park

Updated: 9:54 p.m. Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kent Butler, a University of Texas associate dean, died while hiking in Yosemite National Park in California, according to a UT official.

Fritz Steiner, dean of the school of architecture, said Butler was on a family trip and went hiking with his two daughters Friday. When Butler and a friend stepped aside to allow other hikers to pass, he slipped on the trail and fell to his death, Steiner said.
http://www.statesman.com/news/local/central-texas-digest-4-people-injured-in-sixth-1477061.html?cxtype=rss_ece_frontpage

Admin edit: please do not post entire articles as it is a violation of copyright.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/16/2011 04:54PM by eeek.
Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 06:13PM
This is so sad. Prayers go out to all the families and rescue crew involved.
avatar Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 06:21PM
That's terrible, but you NEVER move to the outside to let people pass. At least I never do.
avatar Re: What happened Friday on Vernal and YFT?
May 16, 2011 06:51PM
The articles pretty much sum up the query of the thread; I feel that it would be best to open a new thread to discuss water safety, passing rules, etc., to avoid any abiguities regarding the accidents.



The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.
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