Another Half Dome death

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

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Half Dome fall?

      There are unconfirmed reports of a person falling off Half Dome Monday evening about 6:30 pm. Climbers on the face reported seeing a man drop down the face. A helicopter was heard going up about 4 am. Sub Dome and the cables were closed for a while Tuesday am while YOSAR investigated. A male body was reportedly found in the talus slopes on the Mirror Lake side of Half Dome known as the Death Slabs. It’s unknown if the person was a climber, a hiker who fell off the top or perhaps a suicide. More as it’s known. 

Car over the edge

     As you drive to Yosemite on Highway 120 you will cross over Lake Don Pedro. Soon you will need to drive up Grizzly Gulch via the Old or the New Priest Grade and into the Big Oak Flat Metroplex.  The Old Priest Grade takes you almost straight up at 25 mph max as your engine grabs for any power it can. Your hamster wheel will be spinning at full rpm.  The Newer road is longer and has broad sweeping switchbacks. A much saner route . . .unless you are gawking at the view as a driver did Sunday. In a big “oops” the car went over the edge and down 200 feet.  The driver walked away thanks to seatbelts, airbags and the St. Christopher statue. Winches were deployed Monday to get it out. Try to explain that to your family.

Le Dome then Le Conte

    I will be hiking Half Dome on the 25th and might not be posting a blog that night. I will also not be able to moderate posts to the blog. If you are at the park I will be giving my Half Dome talk at 8 pm on Sunday night at the LeConte Memorial Lodge. It’s on the road to curry across from the Housekeeping area. FREE.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: “On the road again – Just can’t wait to get on the road again. The life I love is making music with my friends. And I cant wait to get on the road again, on the road again.” – Willie Nelson 

*MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch –


11 Responses to “Another Half Dome death”

  1. Roberto Hernandez Says:

    Is the route to Groveland the priest grade?

  2. Sönke Says:


  3. Roberto Hernandez Says:

    This is a big headline on sfgate. Identity is yet unknown. The death appears accidental. Whether it was suicide, will probably not be determined until the man is identified.

  4. jd Says:

    the death slabs are a name for another area where climbers aproach the face of half dome. they are named because they are sketchy, not because this is where people fall off the top of half dome on. the talus fields where the parts of the guy were found are just called the tallus fields below the face. sorry if the facts don’t sound as daramatic as your account.

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      “Sketchy” becaue if you fall there you pretty much meet Death. It’s pretty much a rope ascent approach. Not for the beginner unguided.
      The talus is very hard to navigate. I don’t recall saying that they are called that becusee people fall off of HD.

      • Roberto Hernandez Says:

        I just read a 2010 book about NPS Rangrrs. “Sheriff Lobo” still in charge of emergency services at Yosemite?

  5. Roberto Hernandez Says:

    Who is the “SPECIAL AGENT” in Yosemite? Just one? This person is the guardian of the accident files?

  6. Sönke Says:

    The person who fell off HD has been identified:

  7. Sönke Says:

    And the Modesto Bee reports:

  8. G perlas Says:

    Me and two other friends we’re at Half Dome that morning. The following am near mirror lake around 8am when we saw the choppers hovering around HD.

    Read your book which helped me climbed HD.

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