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17th person dies at Yosemite National Park

It's happened again — Yosemite National Park rangers were forced to search for a body this week after hikers reported seeing someone fall while climbing Half Dome, NBC Bay Area reports.

The report came in late Monday. The body of the man the Mercury News identified as Ryan Leeder of Los Gatos, Calif., was recovered Tuesday afternoon.

Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman said Leeder must have climbed Half Dome by the trail and cables, then crossed the flat summit on top. Gediman said Leeder either fell or jumped on purpose from 4,000 feet. 

Gediman said the condition of his body made it intially difficult to determine the man's age. The Mercury News said Leeder was 23 years old.

This year has been one of Yosemite's deadliest in recent memory. The death is No. 17 to occur in the park or to result from injuries sustained in the park, Gediman said.

Last month, three people were swept over a snowmelt-swollen waterfall. And a 26-year-old woman died when she slipped down Half Dome while descending the steep cabled slope.

 

Yosemite Valley is one of the country's most beautiful National Parks. But this year, it's been the site of a record number of deaths. NBC's Miguel Almaguer reports.

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