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Hirofumi Nohara, 37, slipped and fell while ascending the Half Dome cables on June 16, 2007 at around 2:30 pm. Nohara, a Japanese citizen in the United States on a work visa, was hiking with four friends when the fall occurred. Nohara fell approximately 300 feet from the left side of the cables, and was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation into the cause of the slip and subsequent fall is underway.
The Half Dome hike is a round-trip hike of 17 miles and considered extremely strenuous. Hikers gain 4,800 feet of elevation along the hike that passes such highlights as Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, and Half Dome itself. A series of metal cables are placed along the steep shoulder of the dome to assist hikers to the summit. Visitors are advised to take appropriate precautions when attempting a hike of this length and difficulty, and to be prepared for changing weather and trail conditions.
For more information about hiking safety, please refer to Yosemite's website at www.nps.gov/yose.