A 79-year-old Glacier National Park (GLAC) climber fell to his death during an attempted steep ascent with a group of friends.
On the morning of Monday, July 25, the male Florida native was climbing Rising Wolf Mountain when tragedy struck. Part of a group, the 79-year-old began ascending a steep off-trail slope and fell to his death. Per the national park, the incident occurred several hundred feet above the Two Medicine Campground on Rising Wolf.
After his fall, the climber’s friends descended to his location. They would then yell for help and call 911. Glacier County Dispatch diverted the call to Glacier National Park, which took over.
“NPS staff mobilized after campers heard shouts for help,” the park’s press release states. “Two Bear Air diverted from a separate incident and transported the unconscious patient to Two Medicine Ranger Station where ALERT was standing by for patient care.”
Tragically, the elderly man was declared deceased by ALERT personnel at the scene.
Park staff thanks the Glacier County Sherriff’s Office, ALERT, and Two Bear Air for their support. Glacier National Park also expresses “their deepest condolences to the family and ask that the public respect the family’s privacy,” as his identity is being kept private at this time.
Climbing Safety for Glacier National Park
According to the national park, one of the most common causes of injury and death in Glacier are accidents occurring “when people fall after stepping off trails or roadsides or venturing onto very steep slopes.”
To avoid this fate, the park asks that visitors stay on designated trails. “Don’t go beyond protective fencing or guardrails,” their guidelines state. “At upper elevations, trails should be followed carefully, noting directions given by trail signs and markers.”
In addition, hikers and climbers should avoid hiking in locations with a high level of danger involved if you were to fall. In fact, Glacier National Park does not include climbing as an activity on their NPS website. It is considered highly dangerous in the park.
If visiting with children, be sure they are supervised closely at all times, the park also asks.
Another leading cause of injury and death in Glacier National Park occurs when people fall after stepping off trails or roadsides or venturing onto very steep slopes. To avoid this, “Stay on designated trails and don’t go beyond protective fencing or guardrails,” Glacier asks. Also supervise children closely in these areas.
Always note directions given by trail signs and markers, especially at high elevations. And again, always avoid hiking in locations with a high level of danger involved if you were to fall.
Heeding these guidelines can and will save your life. Outsider offers our sincerest condolences to those who survive the Rising Wolf Mountain climber.