Authorities say two women were killed while climbing an icy canyon in the Sierra Nevada. Jennifer Shedden, 34, of Mammoth Lakes, and Michelle Xue, 22, of Los Angeles, were killed in a rockfall accident while climbing the North Couloir on Red Slate Mountain earlier this week, reports Gripped.
A search began after the pair didn’t return as planned on Sunday and the Mono County Sheriff’s Office says a helicopter crew spotted the bodies Monday at an elevation of about 12,000 feet. Because of high winds and steep terrain recovery efforts were delayed until the following day.
“The climbing team faced active rockfall from the terrain above, discharging rocks and material into the couloir,” according to the Mono County Sheriff’s Office. “It appeared that the women, though very prepared and well-equipped were struck by a large rockfall event.”
Officials say the women, who were experienced and well-equipped, were likely struck by falling rocks on the peak in the Sierra above Convict Lake.