California Hiker Falls 500 Feet to Death in Sequoia National Park

by Emily Morgan
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A hiker has died after plummeting 500 feet from a summit in California’s Sequoia National Park.

On Monday, a 56-year-old San Jose man was hiking Mount Russell with two other people. During the hike, he lost his balance and fell, according to a news release from the National Park Service (NPS.)

One of the hikers with him, a 45-yer-old woman from Milpitas, California, also fell after trying to save him. Per the NPS, she was able to “self-arrest approximately 30 feet down.” The third person in their group used a satellite beacon to phone in an emergency. They later dialed 911 on a cellphone.

Authorities have not yet released the identities of the late hiker’s companions. They have also not released the name of the deceased.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ Helicopter 552 were already out pursuing another hiker from the Big Five Lakes area. As a result, the search and rescue team and its Helicopter 551 from Yosemite National Park responded to the incident.

The team rescued the injured woman from the ledge. They later transported her to Bishop, where health officials admitted her to a local hospital. According to the NPS, they later flew her to a hospital in Reno, Nev., where she underwent surgery.

The organization also noted that the Yosemite team confirmed the San Jose man died after his fall. On Tuesday, a Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks team retrieved his body and transferred it to a funeral home.

Hiker Found Alive After Surviving Freezing Temps

A 33-year-old Texas man was recently found alive in Mount Whitney, two days after his hiking partner reported him missing. Rescue teams successfully found Edward Lee Alderman a few miles west of the mountain summit.

Despite undergoing “sub-freezing temperatures,” Alderman was found alert and in good condition. Officials airlifted him to a hospital for treatment.

His hiking partner reported him missing on May 21. The two got separated the day before they approached Mount Whitney’s summit. The search, however, was burdened by a late-winter storm that made the ground search difficult.

After the weather improved by Sunday, NPS officers continued their search and thankfully found him. Officials say hikers helped them locate the man after they heard his voice. In recent years, Mount Whitney has proven to be the site of many missing hikers. While there’s no database recording fatalities on Mount Whitney, they’re hardly infrequent. According to Outside, an estimated 20 percent of hikers aiming for the summit don’t make it to the top.

Outsider.com