Death On Whitney


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Ice climber
canyon country,CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 4, 2013 - 11:44am PT
Torrance hiker conquers Mt. Whitney, then falls to his death

Mt. Whitney
Park rangers recovered the body of a Torrance man who fell to his death after reaching the summit of Mt. Whitney. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

By Kate Mather
September 3, 2013, 12:47 p.m.

Park rangers have recovered the body of a 60-year-old Torrance man who fell to his death after reaching Mt. Whitney's summit over Labor Day weekend, officials said.

Rangers with the Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks removed Yukio Kato's body Monday from the bottom of a 200-foot cliff along the Mount Whitney Trail, National Park Service officials said.

Kato fell over the cliff Sunday afternoon on his return from the summit, which he had reached earlier in the day with three other people, officials said.

The cliff, which sits at an elevation of roughly 13,500 feet, is about a mile away from the Mt. Whitney summit, officials said. At 14,497 feet, Mt. Whitney is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States.

A helicopter and medic were dispatched to the scene Sunday afternoon but postponed the recovery of Kato's body because of "limited daylight hours," park officials said.

The cause of the fall remains under investigation, officials said, but weather was not believed to be a factor.

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Sep 4, 2013 - 11:55am PT
This is both sad and very confusing... must have been during a descent of the Mountaineers Route?

Toyota Tacoma
Sep 4, 2013 - 12:00pm PT

Also, North Fork was a zoo this past weekend. Lots of people heading up late in pretty iffy weather. Still going up the Mountaineers Gully with hail and lightening present. Heard of mud avalanches above Meysan Lakes. Was first responder and had to call in a SAR for a woman we passed who broke an ankle on the slabs below UBS Lake.

Edit: No "lecture" intended- just a lot of needless tragedies.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 4, 2013 - 12:06pm PT
It had to have been somewhere back along the trail to the Trail Crest junction.

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Sep 4, 2013 - 12:19pm PT
Hoots, save the lecture "Mr. Almighty One".

Godspeed to Kato.
Condolences to his loved ones.

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Sep 4, 2013 - 02:17pm PT
There are 1 or 2 spots on the trail that come within a few feet of the notch between the needles along the ridge.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Sep 4, 2013 - 04:27pm PT
RIP Yukio.

I will assist with the 2013 Memorial thread this winter.

Credit: survival
Bad Climber

Sep 4, 2013 - 06:25pm PT
Sad for the fellow.

Great shot, Survival. I wouldn't mind that view being the last thing I see on this earth.


Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Sep 5, 2013 - 03:28am PT
Bad, me either, I do believe I'll return there.
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