Mystery of Death at Waterfall in Yosemite NP

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Re: Mystery of Death at Waterfall in Yosemite NP

Postby Sally » Sat Apr 18, 2020 4:38 pm

Ed, here is the quote about Ray Beal from the book:

"Louis Raymond Beal, 55

September 1 1979 South Crack, Polly Dome
Despite being warned by Dick DeRusha to wait, Beal of Granada Hills, California continued a 2-pitch "rappel" (in bold print) without waiting for his 3 climbing partners to catch up. Beal clipped his "non-locking carabiner" (in bold print) onto a single piton. He then secured his rappel rope's figure-8 knot onto the carabiner. He began his rappel. "His rope unclipped" (in bold print). He fell 270 feet."

He is lucky he lived to be 55! Most of the many many fatal climbing accidents were in their twenties, some in their teens, and some in their thirties. An observation I made is that only 6 climbers were listed as fatalities before 1960. Then, with one exception, the next 22 fatalities between 1960 and May 18, 1979 were in their teens or 20's (That's 19 years of fatalities!) Then, Ray, 55, had his fall on September 1, 1979.
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Re: Mystery of Death at Waterfall in Yosemite NP

Postby Christine1324 » Sun Jan 03, 2021 11:34 pm

Hello,

I am looking into these earlier cases at Yosemite. There were two close together that summer of 1971 -- Steven Brown and Randy Friedman. Is it possible the body you all saw was Randy's and not Steven's? Something is weird about many of these cases, but the discrepancy is your retelling is disturbing!
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Re: Mystery of Death at Waterfall in Yosemite NP

Postby Sally » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:10 pm

Hi Christine,

Thank you for taking an interest in this case. The body I saw could not have been that of Randy Friedman because our backpack trip ended on the 3rd or 4th of July, and Randy did not have his fall until July 20th.

Here is an approximate timeline of events from the day we saw the body at Waterwheel Falls:

July 1, 2, or 3: We discovered the body at Waterwheel Falls. After our camp leader informed staff at Glen Aulin about the body we headed out to our anticipated next campsite, which was supposed to be May Lake. The day turned rainy (icing on the cake to an already gloomy day) and we stopped for the night at Raisin Lake, short of making it to May Lake.

July 2, 3, or 4: We had long and grueling day hiking all the way back down to Yosemite Valley. Then we spent the night in the Valley.

July 3, 4, or 5: We rode the camp bus, a school bus, back to San Diego. I spent the night at my sister’s house.

July 4, 5, or 6: My sister put me on a plane and I flew back to Glendale and was there around the time of my Dad’s birthday, which was July 5th.

Since I have lost my journal, this is the best I could piece together the sequence to try to pin down the date. The timing is consistent with the time Steven Brown went missing at the waterfall.
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