Hiker Injured Trying to Stop Man's 500-Foot Plunge

Both fell, but one survived by catching a ledge 30 feet below at Sequoia National Park
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2021 4:23 PM CDT
Hiker Injured Trying to Stop Man's 500-Foot Plunge
Sequoia National Park is in the southern Sierra Nevadas.   (Getty/Allison Cherry)

A California hiker survived a 30-foot fall Monday after trying to stop a companion from plunging off a mountain ridge in Sequoia National Park. Rescue crews were able to pull the woman, 45, to safety from a ledge, but the man she was trying to save fell 500 feet to his death, park service officials said. She'd grabbed the man, 56, when he lost his balance on the summit ridge of Mount Russell, CBS reports, and they both fell. Another hiker in the group used a GPS beacon to call for help, per CNN. The woman, also from California, was taken by air to a hospital in Reno, Nevada, where she had surgery. Crews were able to recover the man's body the next day. None of the hikers was identified.

It was one of a rash of emergency calls for rescue crews at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park over the Memorial Day break, at least one of which happened at the same time. "The parks responded to eight separate search and rescue incidents over the three-day holiday weekend," officials for the parks said. They said they anticipate a busy summer at the parks and asked visitors to be prepared. "Understand completely that you may need to be self-sufficient in the event of an emergency," a parks statement said. "There is never any guarantee that rescuers will be able to reach you quickly." (Read more hiker death stories.)

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