The body of a man missing since Sunday has been found in Yosemite. 73-year-old Kenneth Stensby was located 300 feet below Vernal Fall. Search and rescue crews recovered his body around 1pm Tuesday afternoon.
On a busy day, 2,000 people hike up to Vernal Fall. On Sunday morning, Stensby set out to do the most popular hike in Yosemite National Park. Sadly, something went terribly wrong at the top of the waterfall.
"It looks like he did fall over the top near Vernal Fall, not over the waterfall, but rather over near the guard railing," said Scott Gediman, Yosemite's Public Affairs Officer.
Mist Trail was closed for much of Tuesday as crews recovered the Minnesota man's body. Hikers could go as far as the footbridge below before having to turn around.
"We were going to do our hike up to Vernal Fall today, that was our goal was to get up there," said Denise Hickman, a visitor from Arizona.
Hickman said she was disappointed, after waiting 11 years to do the hike. But she also understands the unfortunate situation.
"Your heart goes out to those that have something that's gone horribly wrong," said Hickman.
Gediman says Stensby did many things right, including leaving a note at the front desk of the Awahnee Hotel. His backpack was found Sunday night at the top of the waterfall. There were apparently no witnesses in what's being called a tragic accident.
"This is a fall that no one could survive," said Gediman.
Stensby's death is a harsh reminder of how unforgiving nature can be.
"You get a little nervous. These people go to the edge and all you have to do is slip," said Randy Kopczyk, a visitor from Chicago.
Mist Trail opened back up around 2pm on Tuesday. This is the first accidental death in Yosemite so far this year, but every year about a dozen people die at the park from natural causes or accidents.