SEBASTOPOL, Calif. (AP) - A veteran Northern California rock climber died in a fall while climbing alone in Yosemite National Park, apparently just hours after he proposed to his girlfriend during another a climb in the park, authorities said.
Brad Parker's girlfriend, Jainee Dial, accepted his marriage proposal Saturday after the pair reached the top of Cathedral Peak. His father, Bill Parker, said Brad Parker told him it was the happiest day of his life, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Tuesday.
Later in the day, the couple separated as Brad Parker headed off by himself to climb nearby Matthes Crest, a ridge of upturned rock about 3 miles from Cathedral Peak.
Then tragedy struck. Other climbers witnessed Brad Parker fall Saturday evening, Yosemite Park Ranger Kari Cobb said. Brad Parker was climbing alone and without ropes, and he fell on an established route, Cobb said.
Park rangers hiked in and located the climber's body, Cobb said. They remained with it overnight, and a helicopter retrieved it the next day.
Brad Parker's death was the second climbing death in Yosemite this year, the typical average annually, Cobb said.
A Sebastapol resident, Brad Parker appeared on a cover of California Climber magazine in 2012. He worked as a yoga instructor and was an avid surfer and mountain biker. He also enjoyed backpacking and fly fishing trips in the Sierra Nevada with his father and brother, Mat.
Brad Parker's father said he thinks fatigue from the Cathedral Peak climb and the run his son made to Matthes Crest might have been a factor in the fall.
"We're all so stunned," Bill Parker said. "What happened is so unbelievable."
Services for Brad Parker are scheduled for Saturday in Sebastapol. His father said some family and friends planned to hike to the Cathedral Peak area Tuesday.
"It's the only closure we're able to get," Bill Parker said.