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Korean Climber Caught in Avalanche on Half Dome in Yosemite National Park

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Date: February 24, 2009

A Korean climber was reported to have been swept in an avalanche Monday afternoon while climbing on Half Dome. The climber, an experienced mountaineer, was climbing with a party of six others when the avalanche occurred at approximately 4:20 pm on Monday, February 23. Language barriers and unsettled weather and terrain have added to the complexity of the situation. Rescuers made contact with the victim yesterday, but continued avalanche activity in the area made it unsafe for rescuers to enter. Efforts will continue today using ground crews, technical climbing crews, avalanche experts, and the California Highway Patrol helicopter. 

Recent snow and ice have resulted in active avalanche conditions throughout the Sierra range. Winter mountaineering is physically demanding and can present extreme conditions. Advance planning, awareness of the risks, and ability to change tactics should it become necessary are crucial for travel in these conditions. 

Media calls can be directed to 209/372-0413.

Did You Know?

The Merced River flowing serenely through Yosemite Valley

Congress designated the Merced River as Wild and Scenic in 1987. The National Park Service manages 81 miles of the Merced River, encompassing both the main stem and the South Fork in Yosemite National Park and the El Portal Administrative Site. More...