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Yosemite hiker dies after fall on Half Dome; 41 others evacuated

June 14, 2009 |  1:32 pm

Yosemite1 The hiker who perished after falling during a descent of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park late Saturday afternoon has been identified as Manoj Kumar, 40, of San Ramon, Calif.

Rain and hail might have been factors. At the time of the 911 call regarding Kumar's fall, several climbers had become caught in a hailstorm and were unable to descend, either because of the incident or exposure to harsh elements.

A team of rangers evacuated 41 hikers. An investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of Kumar's fall.

This marks the first fatality involving a hiker on Half Dome since Hirofumi Nohara fell to his death in June 2007. Two women died after falls while on the massive granite shoulder, one in April 2007, the other in November 2006.

Yosemite set Half Dome's cables in place in mid-May and, as it does every spring, cautioned hikers to exercise extreme caution in wet weather.

--Pete Thomas

File photo: Climbers clog the cables at Half Dome. Credit: Anacleto Rapping / Los Angeles Times