Yosemite Hiker Found Dead After Cliff Fall


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A hiker who went missing on Sunday, May 5 in Yosemite National Park has been found dead.

According to the National Park Service, the body of Kenneth Stensby was found near the bottom of Vernal Fall, a 317-foot waterfall located on the Merced River in Yosemite. Stensby's body was found on Monday afternoon by park rangers, who have stated that it appears the 73-year-old fell from a cliff near the top of the waterfall. The body was found following a full-scale search that included California Highway Patrol helicopters.

Stensby, who is from Edina, Minnesota, is reported to have taken daily hikes through the park while staying at a Yosemite hotel. On Sunday he left a note with hotel staff, as he always did, outlining his hiking plans. Stensby had planned to take a morning hike to the top of Vernal Fall and return by midday. Park Rangers were dispatched to look for Stensby when he had not returned that evening. His backpack was found near the guardrails at the top of Vernal Fall.

This is not the first occasion on which a hiker has died around Vernal Fall. In 2011, three hikers crossed guardrails erected to keep hikers out of the water above the fall. They were swept over the falls by the water's flow, which was greater than usual due to a large melting snowpack from that winter.

(Image courtesy God of War at the English language Wikipedia)