October 20, 2014
Aly Baltrus, 435-772-0160
Springdale, UT- A rock climber, male, age 47, died Sunday afternoon, October 19, 2014, after falling in Zion National Park. The cause of the incident is currently under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff's Office in cooperation with the National Park Service. The climber's name is being withheld pending notification of family.
The victim and a fellow climber were starting the climb of "Iron Messiah," a technical 5.10 climb in Zion Canyon. The pair was on an approach pitch in easy 5th class terrain when the climber apparently fell backward, tumbling approximately 80 feet down the steep slope, striking a series of ledges. 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 1100 hours and Park Medics reached the victim by 1200. Park Medics and a requested Lifeflight medical crew stabilized him during the almost three hour technical evacuation. The victim was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries. This is the fourth fatal accident in the park for 2014 and the eighth climbing fatality since 1983.