San Diego hiker falls to death at Sequoia National Park
TULARE COUNTY, Calif. — Park rangers Tuesday recovered the body of a San Diego man who fell from a cliff at Sequoia National Park last weekend.
Anton Dokov, 29, slipped on a hiking trail in the Watchtower area above Tokopah Valley and slid over a sheer precipice on Sunday, according to Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, spokeswoman for the Central California nature preserve.
“Rangers responded that same day, but dangerous ice and snow conditions with a very steep slope meant they had to turn around,” Kawasaki- Yee said. “The next day, park rangers were able to find the body, but were unable to retrieve it due to the complexity and technical aspects of the recovery.”
Dokov was on the Lakes Trail, headed toward Pear Lake, at the time of the fall, she said.
Despite warming springtime temperatures, hikers in the area still must exercise considerable caution due to winter-like conditions persisting at some higher elevations, according to park officials.
The fatality was the second to occur in the tourist-destination Sierra Nevada wilderness reserve within 10 days. On May 5, during a descent on Mount Whitney, hikers came across two ice axes and what appeared to be a blood trail leading to a body about 2,000 feet farther down the mountain.
The following day, rangers recovered the body of 29-year-old New Jersey resident Eric Juliani, who had been reported overdue by friends.
“Although we’re getting warmer weather in the valley, conditions at higher elevations are still very cold with snow and ice,” park ranger Chris Trotter said. “Even the most experienced hikers with the best gear can encounter challenges in these conditions.”