YOSEMITE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A group of hikers visiting Half Dome saw first-hand a life-threatening incident – and one witness described the experience as terrifying.
“It started as a nice day, a little cloudy, we just thought it was going to pass by, and as soon as we got up there, it started turning, looking a little bit worse,” said Ramiro Alvarado.
Despite taking cover, hikers say they still received shocks from the lightning bolts while climbing Half Dome on September 21.
Alvarado says he really didn’t know what was going on, seeing lots of panic on other hikers’ faces, but he started recording video of the scene.
“My first thought once I got closer was my kids. My kids came to mind and I’m like ‘Man, there’s no way, if I go up there and something happens, my wife and kids..alone.’ That was the fear that came upon me whenever I got there,” said Alvarado.
Alvarado continued by saying there was a girl to his left who was crying – and that her boyfriend was still up on the cables. That’s when more fear set in.
“More fear came and I thought, “Man that could have been me up there.” And obviously you can see in the video they’re screaming for the girl that fell. It was just terrifying, you don’t know how big Half Dome looks till you’re on the cables,” said Alvarado.
Alvarado says he didn’t see what exactly happened but heard from others who witnessed the fall that she lost her grip once the rain started.
Despite witnessing such a terrifying experience, Alvarado says he isn’t ruling out climbing Half Dome again.
“It’s definitely not it. I do want to go back, maybe not anytime soon, but maybe sometime in the future. But you learn from this experience, gotta take different precautions. You don’t just witness what happened that day,” says Alvarado.