The National Park Service says a French hiker died on Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park this week.
Tom Gerbier from the Fontenay-sous-Bois region near Paris was reported missing after he missed his return flight.
Gerbier, a pilot for Air France, started hiking Mt. Whitney early Tuesday morning, utilizing what NPS called the “Mountaineering Route.”
He was supposed to return the following day, but never showed up.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office began investigating his disappearance, searching by helicopter along Mt. Whitney. Helicopter crews were unable to locate him.
On Thursday, Sheriff’s search and rescue crews alongside NPS personnel began a ground search for Gerbier.
“As ground teams began to summit on the Mountaineering Route, they noticed clues that a hiker may have fallen off a cliff in the area known as ‘The Notch,'” NPS officials said in a release issued Friday.
A helicopter that was assisting with the search was redirected to the Notch, where the motionless body of a hiker that matched the description of Gerbier was spotted.
The body was recovered by helicopter and transported to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, which confirmed it was Gerbier.
It’s estimated he fell about 1,000 feet from the side of the steep climb.
This is the second fatality at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks this year, the National Park Service said.