Among the most dangerous hikes in the country — if not world — is Yosemite’s Half Dome. Although the hike looks absolutely beautiful, it also seems like absolute hell. As SFist describes it, “The climax of the hike is effectively a straight-up vertical ascent of 400 feet, which hikers climb using cables that have been installed along the rocky slope.”
Given the hike’s danger, it’s no surprise that the trek has been a point of fascination for TikTokers and podcasts alike, drawing more to the path to attempt the treacherous feat. Sometimes, this ends in disaster. For example, last week, a woman lost grip of the mountain and tumbled off, somehow catching herself and landing on a ledge.
@ramiro.agllc September 21, 2023. Half Done in Yosemite is no joke. Safety is a priority but things happen. Thankfully they were able to comunícate with her. #yosemitenationalpark #halfdome #fyp ♬ original sound - Ramiro Alvarado
This resulted in an active rescue situation that was later documented on Reddit and TikTok.
What spurred her fall appears to be an unexpected rainstorm that left many seeking shelter in a nearby cave, per the San Francisco Chronicle.
The story that precipitated this is somehow worse. In short, a group of hikers hid out in the cave to wait out the storm. The nearby rocks were then struck by lightning, consequently striking multiple people taking refuge in the cave.
@ramiro.agllc Hopefully shes ok #yosemitenationalpark #halfdome #fyp ♬ original sound - Ramiro Alvarado
“The lightning went from one of the rocks to Dean’s knee. Another one of his friends in the cave was also struck — the lightning went from one of the rocks to the back of his head,” the SF Chronicle reports. “Lightning struck again. After the second set of flashes, the stranger who was in the cave with them went unconscious.”
Thankfully, the unconscious man was able to be resuscitated, and while those who were struck by lightning were initially confused, they appeared to have regained their full faculties within an hour after the strikes.
When the rain subsided, the group contemplated their return down the mountain. The woman in the video fell on her attempted descent — though, as the video shows, was later rescued. We unfortunately lack further details about the woman, though the TikToker says that she was talking throughout the rescue process and that she was taken to a nearby hospital.
Everyone involved is lucky to be alive. For those who are considering the hike, Yosemite advises “not to attempt the cables if storm clouds are visible — even if they seem to be far away, and that “people on top of the mountain should descend as quickly and as far down as possible.”
Words to quite literally live by.