The final climb if you're hiking to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park entails a long climb up the steep granite on the backside of Half Dome. Perhaps a Class 2 climb. During the peak tourist months there are cables which in the off-season are taken down. You can still climb when the cables are down but it's much more dangerous, especially if it's wet. Before this year, the last fatality while the cables were down was in the 70s. In the last 6 months two people have died, the most recent a 43 year old Oakland woman over the weekend. Via Sierra Star.
Off the Wall: Death in Yosemite, a new book being released March 31st, is a chronicle of the 1,500 deaths in Yosemite since 1851. The author, Buthch Farabee, wrote a similar book about the Grand Canyon and in the case of Yosemite, writes that about 900 of the deaths were traumatic. In fact, much of the book is devoted to providing more background on these deaths. Like Accidents in North American Mountaineering, one of the goals of the book is to educate people so they can avoid similar fates. You know, like jumping off Half Dome to free you soul:
A drunk tourist falling off a 1,430-foot waterfall, a marijuana-filled airplane crashing into a pristine high-country lake and a Russian immigrant jumping off Half Dome to free his soul are a sampling of the compelling stories that fill a new book chronicling all known deaths in Yosemite National Park. Other stories include a 2-year-old who died after eating spoiled peaches in 1868, a logger who shot and killed another man in 1918 after an apparent dispute over prostitutes and a 20-year-old man who accidentally fell off Glacier Point last year while trying to retrieve his digital camera.