Mr. Ybarra set out by himself early Saturday morning to traverse the Sawtooth Ridge, a rugged area near Yosemite National Park, his sister and Alex Few, a friend and fellow mountain climber, had said earlier Wednesday.
Mr. Ybarra, 45 years old, was scheduled to return from his climb by Sunday evening at the latest. After he didn’t contact Ms. Few, as planned, nor respond to her efforts to call, email and text him, she said she contacted local search-and-rescue personnel on Monday.
Authorities from Mono County, Calif., and from Yosemite National Park conducted a search for Mr. Ybarra, including by helicopter, Scott Gediman, a spokesman for Yosemite, said early Wednesday.
The Los Angeles native, who covered extreme sports for the WSJ, wasn’t on assignment last weekend.
“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 Wall Street Journal said in a statement Wednesday.