you probably guessed wrong.
i had a bad feeling about this one. june 13th, 2009 i took the misty/muir trail up past vernal/nevada falls with some family members. those of you who have done that hike may be aware that you can take it all the way up the backside of half dome. i was hiking with j, my sister, and my brother in law. as i was unsure of my groups overall ability we set no defined destination. my plan was to make it to vernal falls at the minimum and the backside of halfdome at maximum. as we approached the topout for nevada falls, our group began to tire. as i had been noting the barometer drop as we gained altitude, it seemed like the circumstances were favoring a return to base camp. we descended, and i was happy to note that the bulk of the inclement weather hit us just after we finished the slick granite step section along vernal falls. i remember commenting to my group that it would be really easy for someone to get hurt with the conditions we were seeing. as the sun set, i heard a chopper thump into the park. that gave me a chill. i remember telling my sister that you don’t bring a chopper into the valley as the sun is setting in bad weather without a really good reason. this morning, i found this story. having ascended those cables multiple times, i’ve always been amazed this doesn’t happen more often. according to this report, multiple people saw Mr. Kumar fall to his death that saturday afternoon and were so traumatized that they couldn’t descend on their own. the report states that by 8pm that evening, the rangers had gotten everyone off the mountain. i believe that is incorrect, as j and i were still in the park sunday morning june 14th, and i watched the SAR chopper perform multiple pulloffs throughout the morning. we also saw what was probably at least one of the sunday morning extrications transported by land ambulance out of the valley code 3. just one more reminder to never take life for granted!