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Hiker dies in fall trying to climb California's Mt. Whitney

CORRECTION Sierra Nevada Drought
Posted at 10:20 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 01:20:56-05

INYO COUNTY, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say that altitude sickness and severe storm conditions likely caused a 50-year-old man to fall to his death while trying to climb Mt. Whitney in the eastern Sierra Nevada.

Inyo County Sheriff's office said in a statement Tuesday that searchers found Eric Goepfert's body Dec. 19.

They used an avalanche probe to locate his body under deep snow. Investigators believe Goepfert was experiencing headache and nausea.

High winds and single-digit temperatures also likely caused him to fall 30 feet to his death.

The sheriff's office said Goepfert served in the U.S. Army and was an active Army reservist.