A hiker fell more than 500 feet to their death after accidentally slipping from a steep trail at Yosemite National Park, in California, according to authorities.
Danielle Burnett, a 29-year-old from Lake Havasu City, Arizona, was pronounced dead at the scene when Park Rangers arrived after the incident.
The 29-year-old reportedly fell from the steep, rocky terrain on the Half Dome, a notorious section of the Yosemite National Park which is so steep hikers are required to use cables for stability while walking along it.
Park officials are currently investigating the incident.
Posting to Facebook, Danielle’s sister Nicole wrote a heartfelt message about her sister, a keen hiker who loved the outdoors.
It’s with a broken heart to inform you all that our beautiful Danielle left us yesterday doing something she loved so much. We ask that you please give the family time and privacy to grieve. Out of respect for her Mother and Father please do not send any flowers or call. This will take time. Thank you for understanding
The Half Dome hike is considered the ‘most iconic attraction in all of Yosemite Valley’, and requires a permit to climb. Permits are distributed via a lottery system, to make sure the route is not used by too many people, and to make sure only experienced hikers and climbers attempt it.
Though it is popular, the Half Dome requires experience to successfully traverse it, according to the Washington Post.
The trail is 17 miles long, and gains around 4,800 feet in elevation, ending in a climb to the summit using the cables for assistance.
Park officials warn the route is ‘not suitable for novice or unfit hikers’, and say several visitors have to be rescued each year because of dehydration and lack of preparation.
Just last year, another climber slipped and fell to their death while hiking along the Half Dome trail. A thunderstorm reportedly closed in on the area and made conditions treacherous for the hiker.
According to park officials, more than 100 climbing accidents occur in the Yosemite National Park every year, and they urge hikers to bring the necessary supplies, and to stick to the trails for safety.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.