For our last post for the 2012 season, we decided to highlight five lessons from this year's entries. We will resume posting in early summer 2013.
1. Many surfaces in Yosemite are slippery--be they water-polished rock, gravelly hiking trails, or uneven surfaces like boulders. Always be aware of what you're walking on, keep focused on it, and be sure to have appropriate footwear.
- Hikers Seriously Injured After Slipping and Falling Near Chilnualna Fall
- Litter carryout on Yosemite Falls Trail
- Climber injured in Sentinel Descent Gully
- Open Ankle Fracture on Panorama Trail
- Litter Carryout on Yosemite Falls Trail
2. Always be willing to turn around when you encounter conditions you're not prepared for or other unexpected circumstances. Coincidentally, these three incidents also highlight the importance of good communication (and how it can be hard to come by in Yosemite). Be sure someone reliable knows your itinerary and will let us know if you're overdue--but don't rely on cell phones.
- Hiker Seriously Injured while Scrambling near Illilouette Fall
- Stranded Hikers Rescued from Tenaya Canyon
- Seriously Ill Backpacker at High Elevation (near Isberg Pass) Flown out by Helicopter
3. Climbers: Be adequately experienced and prepared for the routes you do and be sure you use your safety gear.
- Rappellers Rescued off of El Capitan
- Rescue From Near Snake Dike (Half Dome)
- Rescue from Muir Wall on El Capitan
- Church Bowl Self-Rescue
4. Extra focus is required when you're in an exposed position.
5. Finally, just because you made it to camp doesn't mean you can (completely) relax.