Renowned California climber, surfer, yoga instructor, cyclist, and traveler Brad Parker was dehydrated and seemed fatigued on the day that he died, according to various people who encountered him before he fell while climbing in Yosemite National Park. After climbing a route with his girlfriend and proposing at the top (she said "yes"), he told her it was the happiest day of his life. But it turned tragic when he went on to tackle another route solo—the Matthes Crest Traverse is considered easy to experienced climbers, but he was climbing without any ropes or gear—where, according to climbers who passed him, he appeared tired and complained of dehydration and cramping, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
After climbing Cathedral Peak with Jainee Dial, the newly-engaged Parker hiked three miles alone to the Tuolumne Meadow to climb a traverse on the granite crest, known for being a lateral and not a technically difficult climb, according to a park ranger. Still, in some areas there are 300-foot drops, which is how far he fell at around 5:45pm Saturday. He was reportedly training for a major climb at the time. Parker's father tells the Press Democrat that his son once climbed the area's famous Half Dome in near-record time, but that his passion for climbing was "always a concern" to his parents. (Meanwhile, three more climbers have fallen to their deaths on Europe's Mont Blanc just days after several others died.)