Half Dome cables fall update

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

Information trickling out indcates the person who off the Half Dome cables is Hayley LaFlamme of San Ramon. She was 26. Apparently she fell while descending in the rain.  The NPS press release says she fell 600 feet – that is pretty much the entire length of the cables.  She was pronounced dead by rescue staff.


*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com


10 Responses to “Half Dome cables fall update”

  1. josh Says:

    If I’m not mistaken, I believe that raises the count of deaths from falling from the cables from 5 to 6 in the last 90 or so years since they went up, but 3 in the last 5 years.
    Mr. Half Dome, any idea why the steep rise in death frequency in the last five years. Some in my family think it crazy to climb the cables, but then I share with them some of the statistics on deaths at the cables versus deaths on the mist trail or going over the falls, and it sounds pretty good. But now it’s not so good. “There have only been 6 deaths from falling in from the cabes in the last 90 years…..[ahem]….[less confidently]….3 of them in the last 5 years…”
    I attributed it to crowdation which the permits solved, but do you think there are other factors in the last five years? Since you’ve been going every year since 1990 – do you notice a big change????

    I try to read every post, so if I missed an answer to this in recent blogging, sorry for the repetition. I’m just really curious.

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      7 billion peole on earth…most want to do HD..More people… more not reading signs or warnings about wet rock. Yes, numbers have shot up in last 10 years or so.

  2. Maureen L Says:

    The presentation on the Half Dome plan at the open house last Wednesday gives the NPS info on Half Dome accidents,
    including some photos and diagrams.

    It starts about an hour into the webinar.

    (Mr. HD did put up link to this last week. I had to log into my pc as Administrator to view it, given software needed.)

  3. Mr. Diving Board Says:

    Good Lord. We knew the rivers would take an extraordinarily high toll this year, but this is an additional black-eye for the Park and the Dome…but again…operator error in judgement or awareness of how slick that rock is, especially on the cable route after being worn down and traveled-smooth for so many years. Tragic. ABC/KGO link below. This Park isn’t done claiming lives this year, not by half.

  4. Mason Harrison Says:

    Nature is a force to be respected, very tragic. Thoughts go to the girl, who was 26, only a year older than me.

    The permit system was instituted to make the cables safer. Although it depends on how you count them, I believe this was the 6th death ever on the cables in nearly 100 years. Vast majority of those deaths have been health/weather related.

    There are also conflicting reports as to whether or not this was weather related- Sac Bee says that the rock may have been slick because of rain while the Merced paper says weather conditions had nothing to do with it.

    One has to wonder if hikers, who might not otherwise climb during unsafe conditions, might take the risk because once permits are secured they are non-refundable or exchangeable (a major flaw in the permit system if you ask me). I’ve heard from one SaveHalfDome.com supporter that has confirmed this type of scenario through his own personal experience.

    If anything, this shows that the permit system has not solved the issue.

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      Half Dome is in the Wilderness. By definition, you are to assess the risk and deal with it. There were thunderstorms that morning. A wet rock is like 10W40 motor oil – a big risk factor.

      • Mason Harrison Says:

        Cosign. Certainly not insinuating that “risk” is a problem that can be solved, only managed and mitigated.

        Just pointing out that sometimes when government tries to solve problems, it creates new ones. Best to provide a path and let people make their own assessment.

    • Sönke Says:

      Mason, the only “major flaw” in the system is that a substantial number of people do not understand that spending time outdoor can get you killed. Period.

      I’m getting really angry when I hear that a US$1.50 non-refundable permit should be the cause for taking risks (e.g. risking your life (which is non-refundable by the way as well)).

      Ah…and by the way: the permit system might not be perfect but it has given a much, much better experience to the 2011 HD crowd. And that’s a fact.

      And before I forget: in this rare case it’s not the government creating the problem – it’s the people. And that’s a fact too.

      • Mason Harrison Says:


        How is denying thousands of people the opportunity to hike giving them a better experience? It’s giving them no experience at all.

        The permit system was poorly planned and poorly executed. There is a lot of room for improvement.


      • Sönke Says:

        I’m 4-of-4 this season “scoring” a permit. No denial here.

        Forgive me but from my point of view your “petition” is ill-fated and politically motivated. I think I’ve asked you that question before: Don’t you love nature? If you do you’d jump from the top of Half Dome rather than seeing thousands and thousands of “hikers” pouring on top of Half Dome each and every day during the hiking season.

        Don’t you understand that Half Dome needs some kind of protection? But I guess it’s pointless to discuss with you as you’ve ignored the facts before.

        Half Dome doesn’t need petitions – it needs responsible people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: