Falling Fatality at Black Canyon

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Date: February 10, 2007
Contact: Paul L. Zaenger, 970-249-1914 ext. 429

During opening procedures of the South Rim Visitor Center on the morning of February 10, 2007 a ranger noticed a parked car, but no visitors in the vicinity.  A search ensued that revealed an individual had fallen from Gunnison Point into the canyon sometime after 4:00 p.m on February 9, pending final determination from the Montrose County Coroner.  The body is believed to be a 17 year old female from Montrose.


The individual fell approximately 1,200 feet from the Gunnison Point overlook.  National Park Service rangers, with assistance from the Montrose Sheriff’s office, began the recovery operations around 2:30 p.m. A helicopter transported a team of three climbing rangers to the floor of the canyon.  Climbing rangers then began their ascent to the body. Due to the technical nature of the climb, rangers were not able to reach the body until near dark.


Because of safety concerns, recovery operations are on hold until early Sunday morning, February 11. The three climbing rangers and the body remain in the canyon.  National Park Service rangers are still investigating the incident.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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