STORY: Three hikers swept over waterfall in Yosemite, believed dead

Gosia Wozniacka Uncategorized

Yesterday, I hiked the steep 1.5 mile Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park, retracing the route taken by the three hikers who were swept over the edge of Vernal Fall on Tuesday. The Mist Trail leads to the top of the 317-foot waterfall. The trail starts out paved and easy, but from about the mid-way point it becomes pretty difficult.. large granite steps, the river rushing and exploding against the rocks below, the waterfall giving off a blinding mist. Yet only a day after the tragedy, the trail _ one of the most popular in Yosemite, 1,500 hikers daily! _ was packed with tourists, some of them in flip flops and some pulling or carrying very small children. I was soaked, hot and tired by the time I made it to the top. The water in the pool near the waterfall did look beckoning. The metal guard rails were pretty easy to climb over. But I know better. Apparently, the three hikers _ college students who hiked the Mist Trail with fellow members of a Central California church _ climbed over the rails, waded into the pool several dozen feet from the fall’s precipice to pose for photographs. One slipped… the others tried to help… dozens of people, including children, saw the three go over the edge of the waterfall to their deaths. Read the story my colleague and I wrote here: link to PDF

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