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Berkeley man dies in fall on Sierra Nevada's Mount Sill

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INDEPENDENCE — Authorities say a hiker has died in a fall on one of California's highest mountains.

The Inyo County Sheriff's Office says the man was descending a snowfield on Mount Sill with a partner on Sunday when he slipped and fell about 400 feet (120 meters).

The other hiker used satellite technology to contact sheriff's officials, who dispatched a helicopter rescue crew. But because of gusty winds the chopper wasn't able to land Sunday evening.

Rescuers weren't able to reach the pair until the next day, when the victim was already dead. Authorities identified him as 23-year-old Neil Karpe of Berkeley, California.

Mount Sill's peak looms at 14,159 feet (4,316 meters)?in the eastern Sierra. Sheriff's officials say the fall occurred above 13,000 feet (3,962 meters).

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