Body of hiker, retired Edina CEO, found at bottom of Yosemite cliff

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 7, 2013 - 7:30 PM
Kenneth Stensby
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Kenneth Stensby

Searchers found the body of a 73-year-old Edina man after he apparently fell from a cliff while on a day hike to a popular Yosemite National Park waterfall.

Searchers recovered the body of Kenneth Stensby on Tuesday from the base of Vernal Fall after teams in the air and on the ground spotted it Monday evening, park officials said.

Stensby set off on a day hike early Sunday en route to Vernal Fall. Described as an avid hiker, he had been in the park for several days and was staying at the Ahwahnee Hotel, park officials said.

According to park officials:

Stensby left a note early that morning informing hotel staff that he would be back from his hike about noon. When he hadn’t returned by 5 p.m., hotel personnel called authorities.

His day pack was found late Sunday by National Park Service personnel at the top of the 317-foot Vernal Fall near the guard rails. It did not contain his camera.

Park Rangers had searched along the popular Mist Trail corridor, from Happy Isles to the top of Vernal Fall. About 30 people were part of that effort, along with a dog team.

Stensby was president and chief executive officer of United Properties, a Minneapolis-based diversified real estate company, from 1974 until taking early retirement in January 1995.

Vernal Fall is where three people in a Modesto church group were swept to their deaths in July 2011. Witnesses saw Ramina Badal, 21; Hormiz David, 22; and Ninos Yacoub, 27, go over the fall and struggle in vain for their lives. It took four months before the last of the three bodies was recovered. Of the 12 people who have gone over, none has survived, park officials said.

 

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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Kenneth Stensby