Berkeley man dies after 400-foot fall from one of California's highest mountains

A 23-year-old Berkeley man died last weekend while hiking on Mount Sill in Inyo County, according to the county sheriff's office.

Sometime during the late afternoon on Sunday, Neil Karpe was hiking with another person when, as they were coming down the mountain, he slipped and fell roughly 400 feet, sheriff's officials said.

His hiking partner was able to use a satellite communication device to contact the sheriff's office, which sent out a search and rescue team in a helicopter. Karpe, however, died before the helicopter arrived, according to the sheriff's office.

A California Highway Patrol crew tried to hoist Karpe onto the helicopter Sunday night, but due to the high elevation -- about 13,200 feet 
-- and gusty winds, they were unable to land.

At about noon Monday, six Inyo County search and rescue team members were helicoptered to the mountain and were able to retrieve Karpe's body, which was taken to the Bishop Airport and given to the Inyo County coroner's office, sheriff's officials said.

Mount Sill is on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, between Inyo National Forest and King's Canyon National Park. It is one of California's highest mountains.