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Legendary climber Dean Potter among 2 dead in Yosemite BASE jumping accident
The Fresno BeeMay 17, 2015
Legendary rock climber Dean Potter was among two people killed in a BASE jumping accident in Yosemite National Park, park spokesman Scott Gediman confirmed Sunday.
Potter, 43, and Graham Hunt, 29, died Saturday after jumping from Taft Point, a 7,500-foot promontory that overlooks over Yosemite Valley.
The bodies were recovered Sunday by Yosemite search-and-rescue personnel and the California Highway Patrol, Gediman said. The men were reported missing late Saturday evening.
BASE jumpers use parachutes or wing suits to leap from cliffs or other high structures. BASE jumping is illegal in Yosemite.
The investigation into the deaths is ongoing, Gediman said.
Potter and Hunt, who lived near Yosemite, were prominent figures in the park's climbing community, Gediman said.
"This is a horrible incident, and our deepest sympathies go out to their friends and family," Gediman said. "This is a huge loss for all of us."
Potter is famous for completing solo ascents, tightrope walks across some of the world's most famous rock formations, and BASE jumps without a rope, tether or other safety gear. He drew criticism in May 2006 after he made a "free solo" climb of Utah's iconic Delicate Arch, prompting outdoor clothing company Patagonia to drop its sponsorship of him.
Recently, he appeared in a film that chronicled his adventures BASE jumping with his dog.