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May 22, 2024  |  
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Brad Matthews


NextImg:Air France pilot falls to his death while hiking California’s Mount Whitney

An Air France pilot and French national who was declared missing while hiking Mount Whitney in California has been found dead from a fall.

Tom Gerbier, 38, had set out to hike the mountain on Tuesday and had been declared missing after failing to show up for a return flight on Wednesday, the National Park Service said. 

On Thursday morning, another French climber attempting the summit found an abandoned piece of equipment at a particularly precarious point called the “Notch,” where a perilous hiking route on the mountain meets its exposed north face, the nonprofit Inyo County Search and Rescue Team said in a release on Facebook.

After search teams found more abandoned equipment in the area, Gerbier was subsequently found dead on Thursday evening. His fatal fall was about 1,000 feet down, park officials said. 

“The company offers its most sincere condolences to his family and loved ones,” Air France said in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Gerbier’s death is the second this year in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, which Mount Whitney is a part of. The mountain straddles Inyo and Tulare Counties in California.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.