Another tragedy in the mountains after a well known park service employee died while climbing in the Sierra.
On Sunday, the Mono County Sheriffs Department received a call for a possible deceased climber on the third pillar of Mount Dana.
The victim was identified as Jeffrey Robert Maurer, a long time employee of the park service out of Yosemite.
Jennifer Hansen with the Mono Sheriffs Department reports that Maurer and a friend were climbing a route called Lenticular Limbo on the Third Pillar of Mt. Dana near Tioga Pass. Maurer was the lead climber and had placed five pieces of protection before the fall. The friend reportedly felt golf ball sized rocks falling around and realized Maurer was falling.
Climbers on another route heard the cries for help and went to the location, Hansen reports and one climber hiked out to call for help. Mono County Sheriffs personnel, the Mono County Search and Rescue team, and the Yosemite Search and Rescue team responded to Lee Vining Airport to be flown up to Mt. Dana, but the helicopter couldnt land because of high winds. A ground team made it to the area late in the day Sunday but was unable to reach the victim.
On Monday, the grim work continued. Rescuers were flown to the top of the Third Pillar, on the Dana Plateau, where the rescuers rigged a raising system to recover the victim.
47-year-old Jeff Maurer was a well known, Wildlife Biologist at Yosemite National Park, with many friends in the small park community. Park Officials write that Maurer had worked for the Yosemite Institute before he joined the Park Service three years ago. He also taught at UC Davis, and did research for many conservation organizations, park officials say.
Acting Yosemite Superintendent Dave Uberuaga, says we are deeply saddened by this tragic accident. This is a huge loss to the Yosemite National Park and National Park Service family. Our deepest condolences go out to Jeffs loved ones.
Funeral arrangements are pending and Park Staff reports that condolences can be sent to the Maurer Family at 3460 Coon Hollow Rd. Placerville, CA 95667.