Hiker dies after going missing on Mount Whitney trail

An injured hiker who spent two freezing nights off the Mount Whitney trail died after her rescue.

Cassandra Bravo, 34, had gone hiking alone after dropping her young son off on Thursday in Lone Pine, a friend said on a GoFundMe page.

After she failed to contact her family that evening, the Inyo County sheriff’s office was notified that she was missing. Her car was found Friday at the Whitney Portal trailhead, at 8,400 feet elevation on the Sierra Nevada’s east edge.

Her family and friends started a search that day, and Inyo County sheriff’s deputies and search-and-rescue personnel joined on Saturday.

As snow began to fall Saturday, Bravo was discovered at the bottom of a steep rocky slope next to the trail; she apparently had fallen about 100 feet. She was conscious but very cold, dressed in a tank top and leggings, her friend’s report said.

She was airlifted from the ravine and taken to Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, where she died.

The GoFundMe report said Bravo, from Riverside, worked as a nurse and was the single mother of two children of grade school age.

She went missing just before the Sierra’s first major winter storm of the season. The Inyo County search-and-rescue team had posted a warning on Wednesday saying, “The forecast for the upcoming weekend looks very cold with a wind chill of minus-20 degrees,” and advising hikers to be prepared for harsh conditions.

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