Hiker Dies After 100-Foot Fall, Two Friends Rescued

Chris Jasurek
By Chris Jasurek
February 8, 2018USshare
Hiker Dies After 100-Foot Fall, Two Friends Rescued
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team, Tahoe Nordic crew, and members of the Truckee Fire Department headed out on Feb. 8 to rescue three hikers stranded on the slopes of Granite Chief. (Placer County Sheriff's Office)

A man who was climbing a California mountain at night with a pair of friends took a fatal fall on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

The three men, described by KCRA as being in their 20s and 30s, were rock climbing and hiking along the Granite Chief Trail, just west of the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Ski Resort.

The 19,048 acre Granite Chief Wilderness area within Tahoe National Forest. (en.wikipedia.org)
The 19,048-acre Granite Chief Wilderness area within Tahoe National Forest. (en.wikipedia.org)

As night fell, the trio began an ascent of the 3,000-foot-fall Granite Chief. All three had headlamps, but it was still dark and their fields of vision would have been sharply limited, sheriff’s deputies reported.

According to KCRA, the three came to a large boulder blocking their path. They could not see what was on the other side of the boulder, but after throwing stones into the darkness and not hearing them hit, they surmised that the drop was quite long.

The Tahoe National Forest contains Granite Chief is a 3000-foot peak in the Tahoe National Forest, about six miles west of Tahoe City, California. (Bing Maps screenshot)
Tahoe National Forest contains Granite Chief a 3,000-foot peak, about 6 miles west of Tahoe City, Calif. (Screenshot via Bing Maps screenshot)

Rather than turn back, they decided to climb around the boulder. One of them didn’t make it.    

The remaining two hikers called for help from search and rescue crews around 10 p.m.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office reported that its Search and Rescue team, its Tahoe Nordic crew, and members of the Truckee Fire Department hiked out to rescue the stranded climbers.

Placer County sheriff’s officials reported Thursday morning that the two surviving hikers had been successfully rescued and the body of the third hiker had been recovered. The man had fallen about 100 feet to his death.

Not every fall while hiking ends in a fatality.

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