Two hikers who fell to their deaths in Yosemite National Park last week have been identified as a married couple who were also travel bloggers.
Park officials confirmed on Thursday that two park visitors had fallen to their deaths from Taft Point, NBC’s Bay Area station reports. The pair was later identified as Vishnu Viswanath, 29, and Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, People reports. The couple were ardent travelers who, together, ran a travel blog documenting their adventures alongside a travel-themed Instagram page, where they'd garnered more than 14,000 followers, the outlet notes.
Viswanath and Moorthy reportedly plunged 800 feet from an area of Taft Point with “steep terrain,” according to a statement from the National Park Service. Park rangers used “technical climbing and rappelling techniques” and worked in tandem with the California Highway Patrol, who provided a helicopter for the search, to successfully recover the bodies of the deceased on Thursday, the release stated. The situation remains under investigation.
It is currently unclear what led to the couple’s fatal fall. Railings are not in place at the edge of the cliff, which is accessible to park visitors, NBC reports. Only portions of Taft Point are outfitted with railings, Scott Gediman, spokesperson for Yosemite National Park, told the outlet.
The couple’s last Instagram post, dated Oct. 17, features a photo of Moorthy in Vermont, standing on a dock overlooking a lake surrounded by fall foliage.
“With golden capes draped over mountains as far as the eyes can see, there is no denying that Vermont has an unbeLEAFable foliage, don’t you think? Moments like this truly makes me believe in the magic conjured by Mother Nature,” the caption reads. “Are you in the ‘Autumn-Is-Magic’ fan club? Any leaf-peeping hikes planned this year?”
Another photo, taken in March, shows Moorthy sitting on a cliff in the Grand Canyon. The caption remarks on the dangers of taking certain photos for social media.
“A lot of us including yours truly is a fan of daredevilry attempts of standing at the edge of cliffs and skyscrapers, but did you know that wind gusts can be FATAL??? Is our life just worth one photo?” it reads, in part.
[Photo: Instagram/Vishnu Viswanath/Meenakshi Moorthy]
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