Wednesday 13 November 2019

Yosemite park rangers recover bodies of two who fell to deaths

Officials are still investigating when the pair fell and from which spot.

Taft Point is in California’s Yosemite National Park (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers,File)
Taft Point is in California’s Yosemite National Park (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers,File)

By Olga R Rodriguez, Associated Press

Yosemite National Park rangers have recovered the bodies of two people who fell from a popular overlook.

Park spokeswoman Jamie Richards said she did not know if rangers had to abseil down or hike up the “challenging area” in Taft Point as they worked to reach the bodies of a male and female after a tourist spotted them.

Officials are still investigating when the pair fell and from which spot at the overlook 3,000 feet above the famed Yosemite Valley floor. The victims have not been identified.

Railings only exist at a small portion of Taft Point, which offers breathtaking views of the valley, Yosemite Falls and towering granite formation El Capitan.

Visitors can walk to the edge of a vertigo-inducing granite ledge that does not have a railing and has become a popular spot for dramatic engagement and wedding photos.

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A couple is married at Taft Point (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers, File)

More than 10 people have died at the park this year, six of them from falls and the others from natural causes.

An Israeli 18-year-old accidentally fell hundreds of feet to his death last month while hiking near the top of the 600-foot-tall Nevada Fall.

In 2015, world-famous wingsuit flier Dean Potter and partner Graham Hunt died after jumping from Taft Point in an attempt to clear a V-shaped notch in a ridgeline. They were at flying in wingsuits but crashed.

The activity is the most extreme form of BASE jumping, which stands for jumping off buildings, antennas, spans (such as bridges) and Earth and is illegal in the park.

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