Atlanta 8/3/2011 12:14:38 AM
News / Nature

Hiker Hayley LaFlamme Falls To Death At Yosemite National Park

For the second time in less than two weeks a hiker has died at Yosemite National Park in California. Park officials confirmed the death of 26-year-old Hayley LaFlamme on Monday.

LaFlamme and three friends were descending the fixed cables area of Half Dome Sunday when LaFlamme lost her footing and fell 600 feet. Half Dome is a rock formation that rises nearly 5,000 feet above Yosemite Valley. To get to the top of the peak, hikers must use metal cables fixed to the granite slab. Hikers must obtain a permit from Yosemite National Park to climb Half Dome.

LaFlamme’s fall was reported to authorities shortly after noon. Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said park ranger pronounced the San Ramon resident dead upon finding her body.

Authorities are investigating what caused LaFlamme to fall. Weather conditions were likely a factor. The park reported lighting, thunder and rain in the area on Sunday. “This type of weather can make for hazardous trail conditions and the granite slopes become very slick,” the park said.

Cobb said it is hikers’ responsibility to “assess the safety conditions on any trail in the park and to make appropriate choices to make them safe.”

LaFlamme’s death comes just 11 days after three hikers were swept over Yosemite’s 317-foot Vernal Fall. The trio fell into the water after climbing over a guardrail on Mist Trail. They are still missing and presumed dead.


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