Bay Area woman falls to her death on Yosemite's Half Dome
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (KFSN) -- Visitors to Yosemite are getting a stern warning from park officials after a Bay Area woman died while hiking Half Dome over the weekend.
Hayley LaFlamme, of San Ramon died around noon Sunday, as she was coming down the back side of Half Dome.
Hayley LaFlamme's death marks the 14th one so far in Yosemite this year, which is above average. She slipped and fell over a cliff on the back side of Half Dome. Park officials say wet conditions made Sunday's hike, extremely dangerous.
26-year-old Hayley LaFlamme had just made it to the top of Half Dome with her sister, and two friends Sunday, when she fell 600 feet to her death.
Yosemite National Park officials say the accident happened just hours after a thunder and lightning storm passed through the area, which made the granite wet and slippery.
Kari Cobb said, "She had made it to the top of the cables, had spent some time up there and was on her way down the cables, and was roughly half way down the cables when she slipped and fell."
LaFlamme is the fourteenth person to die in Yosemite so far, this year. Park Officials say by the end of July, they normally see an average of 5.6 deaths, and between 12 and 15 for the entire year.
Kari Cobb said, "Now, of course, these deaths include everything from cardiac arrests to motor vehicle accidents, to drownings, to falling off cliffs, it's everything."
On July 19th, three hikers slipped and fell into the Merced River after crossing a barrier at Vernal Fall. They are presumed dead.
In June, a Merced doctor and his friend were swept to their deaths after trying to cross the Wapama Falls Bridge.
Still, park officials say they have no plans to re-assess their safety measures, saying visitors are warned about particular dangers.
Don Self said, "There's signs posted danger -- especially for rain."
Don Self and his son are well aware of the risks. They finished hiking Half Dome on Monday and say LaFlamme's death is a harsh reminder.
Cullen Self said, "I wouldn't have gone up there if there had been any moisture up there at all cause you lose your footing a couple of times, even with it completely dry."
The last time someone died at Half Dome was back in June of 2009. Ironically, that person was from the same Bay Area town as LaFlamme.
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