ZION NATIONAL PARK – A 47-year-old man rock climbing in Zion National Park died after a fall Sunday afternoon.
The man and a fellow climber were starting the climb of “Iron Messiah,” a technical 5.10-rated climb in Zion Canyon, according to a statement issued by Zion National Park Monday. The pair was on an approach pitch in easy fifth-class terrain when the climber apparently fell backward, tumbling approximately 80 feet down the steep slope, striking a series of ledges, the statement said. The victim was not roped in and was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Rangers were notified of the accident at approximately 11 a.m. and park medics reached the victim by noon. The park medics and a requested Life Flight medical helicopter crew stabilized the fall victim during the almost three-hour technical evacuation, the park’s statement said. The victim was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George where he died from his injuries.
The climber’s name is being withheld pending notification of family.
The cause of the incident is currently under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the National Park Service.
This is the fourth fatal accident in Zion National Park in 2014 and the eighth climbing fatality since 1983.
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