Yosemite hiker missing.

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ozarkmac

 
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Yosemite hiker missing.

by ozarkmac » Mon May 06, 2013 8:23 pm

Hiker went missing at Vernal Falls yesterday. S&R seeking information:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/stensbysar.htm
hoping for a good outcome...

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fedak

 
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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by fedak » Tue May 07, 2013 4:47 pm

Missing hiker at the top of a waterfall during peak snowmelt flow?

Heard this story before and it doesn't have a happy ending :(
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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by mrchad9 » Tue May 07, 2013 4:54 pm

I find it odd that the wisdom of the NPS causes it to close the most popular trail in CA in the winter (November-April) when conditions are actually pretty good on it 80% of the time, and then open it in May-June when it is at its most hazardous.

Should just be open the entire time. It conditions folks to ignore signs and closures anyway.

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fedak

 
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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by fedak » Tue May 07, 2013 5:34 pm

> I find it odd that the wisdom of the NPS causes it to close the most popular trail in CA in the winter (November-April) when conditions are actually pretty good on it 80% of the ti

I assume this mostly has to do with the icicles that overhang the upper stairs portion leading up to the Vernal Falls overlook- that and the sheet of ice that forms on the steps.

IMHO that is legitimately unsafe and warrants closure.
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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by mrchad9 » Tue May 07, 2013 6:01 pm

I hiked that trail twice during the closure this winter and during neither outing did I encounter any ice or unsafe conditions. Same as when I hiked it twice during the closure last winter.

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fedak

 
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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by fedak » Tue May 07, 2013 6:19 pm

The problem is that the rangers aren't going to wander up every morning to check the current conditions.

The mist from the falls *does* create icicles and ice along the stairs on that trail. It might not be there all the time but its there enough to warrant the winter closure. Folks can't seem to properly stay away from the river atop the falls- doubt they'll also be able to properly assess the risk of traversing an ice coated staircase. (A staircase where someone managed to slip and die under merely wet conditions 2 springs ago)

Further into the backcountry I'd have a different opinion- but given the tourist traffic that portion of the trail gets I at least see the reasoning for the closure.
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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by mrchad9 » Tue May 07, 2013 6:46 pm

^^^^^^

And this is why all the grannies and kids and adults and even the dogs I saw simply were walking around the closure. Might as well not even have it, as it conditions folks to ignore the signs.

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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by fedak » Tue May 07, 2013 7:03 pm

Yeah- I agree with you there. But I suspect that the signs have as much to do with liability as they do with actual public safety.

See also the Grand Canyon's PSAR program which has been viewed as a resounding success in reducing incidents on the BA/Kaibab trails but is ridiculously over the top with the warning propaganda.
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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by fedak » Tue May 07, 2013 10:36 pm

That unfortunately ended as expected:
http://www.nps.gov/yose/parknews/stensbysar513b.htm
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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by youngclimer123 » Sat May 11, 2013 7:50 pm

yet another death via cliff/waterfall. does anyone know how many people total have died in Yosemite?

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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by OwenT » Sat May 11, 2013 8:21 pm

I saw a book about it in the little Wowona store I think while I was there last. A big hardback called Deaths in Yosemite or something like that, I guess it tells you about all the people that have died there.

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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by youngclimer123 » Sun May 12, 2013 12:15 am

kewl, i can imagine A LOT of people have died in Yosemite(like several hundred)

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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by fedak » Sun May 12, 2013 12:46 am

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youngclimer123

 
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Re: Yosemite hiker missing.

by youngclimer123 » Sun May 12, 2013 12:49 am

looks interesting to read thx


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