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Hiker Dies on Half Dome

2011 could be Yosemite's deadliest

A hiker died on Monday after falling 600 feet while descending an iconic section of rock on Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Haley LaFlamme, 26, slipped on wet granite while climbing down a route secured by fixed-line cables near Half Dome's summit. The death is Yosemite's 14th this year, making 2011 the deadliest year in recent history. “We’ve had more deaths for this time of year than what’s typical,” said Yosemite spokesperson Kari Cobb, adding that 15 people died in 2010, and that a total of 5 to 6 by the end of July is typical. Three hikers remain missing after falling into the Merced River and tumbling over a waterfall in July. “A lot of people who visit Yosemite aren't necessarily familiar with nature,” Cobb told the Associated Press. “They are really out of their element and may not understand the force of nature and what they may encounter in nature.” The park warns hikers to avoid Half Dome in wet weather as moisture leaves the granite rock face especially slippery. In 2009 a man died on Half Dome in similarly wet conditions.

Read more at Reuters

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Filed To: News