NPS spokeswoman Jamie Richards said the man and a companion were scaling the steepest part of the trail where rangers recently installed cables to help hikers to climb the steepest part of the 4,800-foot ascent. Richards said the companion was helped from the trail and was unharmed and the hiker’s body was recovered Tuesday afternoon.
The cables are installed each summer to assist the thousands of hikers who make the popular 14-mile round trip. Richards said hikers can clip safety harnesses to the cables, but the vast majority don’t.
Richards said investigators are still trying to determine how the fall occurred. She said it’s unclear if the hikers were climbing in the rain, but that the well-worn trail over smooth rock was wet.
The NPS declined to release the man’s name pending notification of his family. The NPS said it’s the first fatal fall from Half Dome since 2010.
NPS requires hikers to obtain permits to hike the popular trail to avoid overcrowding during the peak summer season.