A 56-year-old man hiking in California on Memorial Day fell 500 feet to his death after slipping off a mountain, authorities said.
The unidentified man from San Jose was hiking the summit ridge of Mount Russell on the eastern boundary of Sequoia National Park with two other people Monday when he lost his balance and slipped, the National Park Service said in a statement.One of the group members, a 45-year-old woman, attempted to grab the man as he began to fall but she also fell. The woman, however, “was able to self-arrest approximately 30 feet down.” (RELATED: Experienced Hiker Found Dead From ‘Traumatic Injuries’)
A third member of the group used an emergency locator beacon to declare an emergency and then called 911. Rescue crews were “already engaged in rescuing an unconscious hiker” from the area when the call came in and were able to respond to the emergency.
The Yosemite National Park team confirmed the man died “in the fall.” His body was retrieved Tuesday from the Mount Russell area, according to the National Park Service.
The woman was rescued from the ledge and taken to a nearby hospital before being airlifted to a hospital in Reno, Nevada for surgery, according to the National Park Service.
Rescue crews responded to eight separate incidents over the holiday weekend, according to the National Park Service.
“There is never any guarantee that rescuers will be able to reach you quickly,” the National Parks Service said in a statement. “Understand your own limits, take care of the people in your party, and always be prepared to turn back.”