Veteran Climber Dies After 80-Foot Fall at Joshua Tree National Park

by Shelby Scott
veteran-climber-dies-after-80-foot-fall-at-joshua-tree-national-park

Spring is officially here, despite frigid temperatures taking hold across the U.S. As a result, Outsiders of all passions and hobbies are excited to get outdoors, exploring our national parks. However, when partaking in things like hiking and rock climbing, it’s always important to keep up with your gear. Be sure to keep it in peak condition. Sometimes, the consequences of not inspecting your gear can turn out to be fatal. Sadly, this became the case Saturday as reports state a climber has died at Joshua Tree National Park.

According to SFGate, the 50-year-old experienced hiker and climber was identified as Tina Fiori. The woman died Saturday when she fell 80 feet while trying to rappel down one of the National Park’s walls. According to the Desert Sun, Fiori is the second person to die this year in Joshua Tree.

Matt Himmelstein, an engineer from Orange and an acquaintance of Fiori’s, said her death was a result of failed equipment. SFGate reports Fiori and Himmelstein had been climbing, or “top roping” with a friend at the time. At the end of the day, the experienced climber ran her safety rope through “compromised” nylon webbing.

Himmelstein said, “The desert is not kind to nylon, so I can’t tell you how old it was, but it doesn’t take a whole lot.”

After spending a certain amount of time in changing weather conditions, the rope wears. This makes it unsafe for other climbers to use

Fiori’s death is absolutely tragic. However, the other climber hopes people learn from this incident, that way no one else dies in the same manner at Joshua Tree.

On social media, Fiori’s friends and family shared emotional tributes.

One of those friends wrote, “We had so many amazing adventures and supported each other through all of the twists, turns, challenges, and joys of life.”

Ice Climber Scales 400-Foot Wall, Survives Minutes-Long Avalanche

Living life as a climber surely takes courage and a whole lot of skill. Currently, it appears Tin Fiori’s death came as an unfortunate accident, one tied to shoddy, nylon rope. However, earlier this year, one ice climber became incredibly lucky as his skill and strength enabled him to cling to a 400-foot wall while an avalanche poured over his head. You can check out the clip here.

What made Leland Nisky’s survival even more incredible is that he’d been solo climbing on the side of a mountain. In speaking about the experience, he said, “This was probably one of the most terrifying experiences I’ve had while solo climbing.”

According to the climber’s post, all that kept him from falling to his death was his strength and his grip on his tools, in addition to managing his breath.

“I knew if I stayed terrified, I would probably die, so I concentrated on controlling my breathing, hugging in tight to the wall to prevent snow buildup on my body, and tucked my head down to breathe a little air bubble.”

Hopefully, as more climbers take to the mountains this spring, we have more inspiring stories like Nisky’s and less like Tina Fiori’s.

Outsider.com