Indian American hiker dies in Yosemite National Park

Asish Penugonda (Courtesy:

An Indian American man, Asish Penugonda, 29, was identified as the man who died from a fall after he was walking the cables on Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

Now friends have created a GoFundMe page to help pay for his funeral and bring his body back home to India.

According to National Park Service rangers, Penugonda was hiking with friends on Monday when he slipped from the cables on Half Dome and fell, resulting in death, and though thunderstorms were in the forecast at the time, there is no indication whether or not they played a factor in Penugonda’s death, according to a Mercury News report.

“Asish has been the epitome of character and a sunshine of positivity to everyone surrounding him. The people who knew him would always remember the good he did and for the surreal strength of morality he has been when they need him,” Swamy Kottur, Penugonda’s roommate and close friend, wrote on the GoFundMe page.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Penugonda is originally from Andhra Pradesh who graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and worked as a biochemist at Siemens Healthcare in New Milford, New Jersey.

According to Mercury News, this was the park’s first visitor fatality of the year as well as the first fatal fall since 2011.

The slope of the Half Dome cables are about 200 yards long with a 45 degrees incline. An average of 12 to 15 traumatic deaths occur each year.



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