Rescuers on Tuesday found the body of a 50-year-old Southern California man in the rugged back country of Kings Canyon National Park, according to the National Park Service.
Meanwhile, in Inyo National Forest, rescuers recovered the body of a 26-year-old Stanford student who fell hundreds of feet down a slope.
In Kings Canyon, Alfred Kwok of Claremont was reported overdue from a solo wilderness trip he had planned to finish Sunday. Inyo County Sheriff’s Department notified park dispatchers that Kwok was missing.
A helicopter assigned to search the area spotted Kwok’s body on the upper southwest face of Deerhorn Mountain about 1:50 p.m. Tuesday. Aided by 16 park staff, the body was recovered the next day and transferred to the Tulare County Coroner’s Office, where Kwok was identified.
The cause of Kwok’s death remains under investigation.
Kwok, a physics professor at Pomona College, planned to hike from Onion Valley in Inyo National Forest into Kings Canyon through Kearsarge Pass. Deerhorn Mountain, at 13,300 feet, is an alpine peak in the southern portion of Kings Canyon.
In the Inyo National Forest, helicopter crews on Tuesday recovered the body of Maria Birukova, 26, a Menlo Park resident and Stanford medical student. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Birukova slipped and plummeted hundreds of feet down a steep slope called Bear Creek Spire.
Birukova, a native of Moscow, was described as an avid mountaineer and climber. Her climbing partner found her dead at the bottom of the 14,000-foot peak. High winds grounded a plan to recover her body Monday.