Hiker dies after falling from Yosemite's Half Dome trail

In this July 15, 2014 photo, hikers gather in the foreground as climbers use the assistance of cables to scale Half Dome in Yosemite National Park National Park in California's Sierra Nevada. A hiker fell to his death Monday, May 21, 2018, while climbing the cables in rainy weather, park officials said. NPS spokeswoman Jamie Richards said the man and a companion were scaling the steepest part of the trail where rangers recently installed cables to help hikers get to the top of the 8,800-foot (2,862-meter) rock face. AP Photo/Brian Melley)
In this July 15, 2014 photo, hikers gather in the foreground as climbers use the assistance of cables to scale Half Dome in Yosemite National Park National Park in California's Sierra Nevada. A hiker fell to his death Monday, May 21, 2018, while climbing the cables in rainy weather, park officials said. NPS spokeswoman Jamie Richards said the man and a companion were scaling the steepest part of the trail where rangers recently installed cables to help hikers get to the top of the 8,800-foot (2,862-meter) rock face. (AP Photo/Brian Melley)

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — A hiker in Yosemite National Park fell to his death while climbing the iconic granite cliffs of Half Dome in rainy conditions, authorities said Tuesday.

The National Park Service said the accident occurred Monday at about 4:30 p.m. in the Northern California national park. The hiker's body was recovered Tuesday afternoon.

NPS spokeswoman Jamie Richards said the man and a companion were scaling the steepest part of the trail where rangers recently installed cables to help hikers to climb the steepest part of the 4,800-foot (1,463-meter) ascent.

Richards said the companion was helped from the trail and was unharmed.

The cables are installed each summer to assist the thousands of hikers who make the popular 14-mile (23-kilometer) round trip. Richards said hikers can clip safety harnesses to the cables, but the vast majority don't.

Richards said investigators are still trying to determine how the fall occurred. She said it's unclear if the hikers were climbing in the rain, but that the well-worn trail over smooth rock was wet.

The NPS declined to release the man's name pending notification of his family. The NPS said it's the first fatal fall from Half Dome since 2010.

NPS requires hikers to obtain permits to hike the popular trail to avoid overcrowding during the peak summer season.

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