Recovery operation near Shaver Lake hampered by steep terrain

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Rescue crews spent all day trying to recover the bodies of a father and son who fell off a cliff near Shaver Lake.

The department's search-and-rescue team gathered along Highway 168 near Shaver Rock. They said the hikers slipped off an unofficial hiking trail and fell about 100 feet into the nearby creek bed Saturday afternoon.

The same treacherous terrain is making it difficult to access them and recover them safely.

"The terrain is mostly granite and some trees and extremely steep and very slippery," Sgt. James Minenna with Fresno County Sheriff's SAR Team said. "There's a lot of moss, especially on the north side of the crevasse there, or the gorge, so it's a pretty dangerous rescue."

About 30 deputies and county firefighters are part of the rescue team. Their sergeant said they have to be experts at rock climbing and hiking so they can get in and get the bodies in position so a helicopter can lift them out.
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