A male hiker died from a fall off of Yosemite's Half Dome on Saturday June 13th, 2009. He was climbing the granite monolith in the late afternoon when he fell to his death. The reports state that we was using the cable handrails provided on the 17 mile round trip that starts in the valley and ascends nearly 5,000 feet. The weather conditions led to a couple dozen other climbers being guided down by Rangers.
This is a sad reminder that nature is both wonderful and beautiful yet real and dangerous at all times. From a bear in your campground to a slip of the foot on a trail, from a sparking campfire to a falling tree eaten by bark beetles, nature is real and we need to stay alert and cautious at all times.
I observe people almost on a daily basis while out in the wild that appear to think they are in a theme park. They seem to think that there is no danger and that someone will help them up at any moment. They have a truck, a SUV or 4WD and feel invincible so they speed on blind curve mountainous roads putting others at risk. I've noticed in recent years that every vehicle I see off a road, stuck in bad weather or in a ditch is one of those aforementioned invincible ones. People pose for pictures in precarious spots. They let their kids and house pets run around by themselves like there is a large fence keeping out nature's predators. They start a hike in the summer like they expect a water fountain and bathrooms along the trails. They'll complain about paying a tax while sitting at home but then feel safe in nature at all times because they are just a helicopter rescue away from their couch and the Discovery Channel.
If this man from Yosemite could tell you something now, he might tell you it's just not so…