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Half Dome Fatal Fall

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Half Dome Fatal Fall

Postby markskor » Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:58 pm

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
Fatal Fall From Half Dome

On about 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8th, Valley District rangers, SAR personnel and trail crew members responded to vague cell phone reports that there’d been a fall with serious injury from the Half Dome cables (in October, the cable hand lines are laid down on the rock and the stanchions which hold the cables up are removed to prevent them from being damaged by avalanches). Responding personnel had to hike up the nine miles of trail and the slab approach to the northwest face due to marginal flying conditions. Orders were placed for several helicopters; two eventually made it into the Valley but were unable to transport crews to the site of the accident due to low clouds surrounding the dome. The medical hasty team arrived on scene at 5 p.m. and found the body of Emily Sandall, a 25-year-old New Mexico resident and graduate of the University of Montana, at a spot about 300 feet below the base of the cables. According to her hiking partner, Sandall was descending the cables when she slipped on the wet rock, lost her grip on the cable, and slid out of sight. Her body was flown out by long line under a helicopter the following day.

Contact Information
Name: Leslie Reynolds, Valley District Ranger
Mountainman who swims with trout



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Postby Trekker » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:26 pm

Sad story. :( My question is, did they go up in rainy or drizzly conditions? If they did, they were setting themselves up for disaster! Hiking up trails in wet or icy conditions is one thing, climbing rock slabs in those conditions is another. I wonder what kind of advice they may have received before trying this hike. Very tragic, and most probably completely avoidable. I remember being up on Half Dome with my girlfriend years ago and seeing two guys summit after climbing up the face. While we were resting on the saddle on the way down, one of the guys made it down and said his friend was freaking out coming down the cables! It's just a different situation from being roped up on the face. No safety valve if you slip.
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Postby Shawn » Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:30 pm

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Postby Trekker » Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:01 pm

Wow! A person who was working to make a difference in the world. Thanks for the info, Shawn. Puts a human face on this tragedy. :(
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Postby Rosabella » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:24 am

This story really touched me. Of course, it's always sad when an accident like this occurs, but when reading her Bio (thanks for posting it, Shawn) I couldn't help make some comparisons in the direction she was taking in her life and where I am.

It's so easy to keep repeating the same mantras like "live today like it might be your last", but then I get so caught up in the dramas of work, home, and being so busy with "stuff" I forget to just stop... and breathe...and be happy. I know that "living simply" is one of the reasons that I love to go on extended backpacking trips, and why I get depressed when I come back to the "real world".

Ahhh..... another "wake-up" call.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:40 pm

Wow! Accidents happen so fast. I fell backwards, head first (had to self arrest) and it happened so quick I don't know what happened! So sad, what happened to Emily. :( Thanks for the link, Shawn.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Fatal Fall 11-8-06 Half Dome

Postby locorogue » Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:59 pm

Live hard, but safe.
Humans, dont you just (fill in the blank) em!
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