• View of Half Dome and Washington Column in Yosemite Valley


    National Park California

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • Tioga Road is Closed

    The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) is closed due to snow; there is no estimated opening date, although it usually opens sometime in May. More »

  • Rain and snow is forecast Friday and Saturday

    The Glacier Point Road is closed and will be reevaluated on Sunday. Tire chains may be required; bring and be prepared to use them if visiting this weekend. Check current road conditions by calling 209/372-0200 (then dial 1 then 1).

Hiker Fatality on Half Dome in Yosemite National Park

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: June 13, 2009

At approximately 3:40 p.m. this afternoon, Yosemite National Park’s Emergency Communication Center received a 911 phone call reporting a fall of a hiker on Half Dome. National Park Rangers arrived on scene via the park helicopter soon thereafter. A male park visitor was found dead and about 30 hikers were still on the cables.

Weather in the park is cold and cloudy with hail reported on Half Dome. This makes for treacherous conditions and the granite is very slippery. Yosemite National Park Rangers are currently assisting hikers off of the cables and down to Yosemite Valley. This weather pattern has been in place for approximately one month in the park and these conditions lead to a similar search and rescue operation in the park last week.

The last hiker who died on Half Dome was Hirofumi Nohara, who slipped to his death on the cables on June 16, 2007.

Two other Half Dome fatalities involved women who were hiking on Half Dome when the cables were down. These were Jennifer Bettles, who died on April 21, 2007 and Emily Sandal, who died on November 8, 2006.

The cause of the fatality is under investigation and Yosemite National Park Rangers are currently focusing their efforts on brining the remaining visitors to safety.

Did You Know?

El Portal Boulder Bar

At the east end of El Portal, just west of Yosemite National Park’s boundary, changing river gradients, glacial history, and powerful floods have created a boulder bar with boulders much larger than typically found in such deposits. This is no ordinary boulder bar, however, for it contains massive boulders over a meter in diameter and weighing many tons.