Ryan Leeder Dies On Yosemite Half Dome

08/24/2011 01:48 pm ET | Updated Oct 24, 2011

A hiker who plunged 4,000 feet to his death Monday evening while attempting to climb Yosemite National Park's Half Dome has been identified as 23-year-old Los Gatos resident Ryan Leeder, Mercury News reports.

According to SFGate:

Leeder fell off the face of Half Dome at about 6:30 p.m. Monday. Rock climbers at the bottom of the peak heard him scream and watched him fall, but because it was getting dark, rangers were not able to start search efforts until Tuesday.

A helicopter crew spotted his body Tuesday morning, and authorities removed it from the base of Half Dome in the afternoon, said park spokeswoman Kari Cobb.

Officials say Leeder had been using Half Dome cables to ascend the rock and that he appeared to be properly equipped.

Leeder's death marks 17th fatality in one of Yosemite's deadliest years. Less than a month ago, a young woman died in a similar accident on the Half Dome. On July 19, three hikers were swept over Vernal Falls after crossing the safety railing to take pictures. Earlier this month, a teenager was killed when he slipped and fell on the popular Mist Trail.