Michael J. Ybarra, a freelance writer from the Los Angeles area who had a regular gig writing about extreme sports for the Wall Street Journal, died in a fall while mountain climbing in the Sierra Nevada. He did not return from a climb last weekend in the Sawtooth Ridge area near Yosemite National Park. From the Journal:
"Michael Ybarra was an extraordinary journalist. In the best traditions of his profession he enlightened and engaged readers on a wide array of topics in clear, vivid prose.…We mourn his passing, and send our thoughts and prayers to his family," the Journal said in a statement late Wednesday.
Mr. Ybarra also was the author of "Washington Gone Crazy," a 2004 biography of Pat McCarran, a former U.S. senator from Nevada, and his role in Congress's anti-Communist hearings in the 1950s.
Ybarra also reported through the years for the Los Angeles Times, receiving bylines from the 1980s until a few years ago. His Facebook page says he was living in Bishop, in the Eastern Sierra.