Social Media

UPDATE: Woman who fell 600 feet from Yosemite's Half Dome identified

YOSEMITE -- A 25-year-old woman climbing Half Dome fell to her death Sunday, Yosemite National Park officials said.

Hayley LaFlamme, of San Ramon, was hiking with three friends, said Yosemite spokeswoman Kari Cobb. The hikers were climbing down the cables of the Half Dome summit around noon Sunday when LaFlamme fell 600 feet.

Rangers pronounced her dead upon arrival on scene.

Severe lightning and thunder storms were present near Half Dome for several hours in the morning and early afternoon. Such weather can result in hazardous trail conditions and the granite slopes can become slick with rain.

The cause of the fall is currently under investigation.

LaFlamme's death marks the 14th fatality in Yosemite since January. The park normally has 12 to 15 deaths a year, but the average by the end of July is between five and six, Cobb said. Last month three members of a Ceres church group plunged to their deaths after they climbed over a protective railing at the edge of Vernal Fall.

The last hiker who died on Half Dome was Majoj Kumar, also of San Ramon, on June 13, 2009, according to Cobb. In 2007, Japanese tourist Hirofumi Nohara slipped from the Half Dome cables and fell to his death. Two other Half Dome fatalities involved women who were hiking on Half Dome when the cables were down. These were Jennifer Bettles, who died on April 21, 2007 and Emily Sandal, who died on Nov. 8, 2006.