Former Dallas Cowboys Player Dies in Tragic California Rock Climbing Incident

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Former Dallas Cowboys player Gavin Escobar has been identified as a rock climber who died in a tragic accident this week. His body, along with that of Chelsea Walsh, was found on Wednesday. Both are from Huntington Beach, Calif. They were discovered on the rockface of a mountain east of Idyllwild, Calif. Both bodies have been identified by the Riverside (Calif.) County Coroner on Thursday.

As for Wednesday, a report of “hikers down,” according to KESQ, came in at 12:25 p.m. Pacific time. That call was near the Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout in the San Bernardino National Forest. The lookout is reportedly southeast of Humber Park. This news comes from the Riverside County Fire Department.

Escobar played in the NFL for Dallas, Kansas City, Baltimore, Miami, and Cleveland. He was drafted by the Cowboys in 2012 and played college ball at San Diego State. Escobar last played in the NFL back in 2019. According to the Long Beach Fire Department, Escobar became a member of it back in February 2022. As of Thursday night, there has not been an official statement from the Cowboys or other NFL teams. But one might be coming as this news is spread across the league. It would be hard to believe that no team would have anything to say about Escobar after his tragic death. Yet we will see in the coming days what teams might say in a statement.

Rock Climber Fell To His Death After Rock Fall

The work that a rock climber puts in to stay safe is a lot. Many rock climbers do take care of themselves when out on a trip. Still, there are many sad situations that do occur. Rock climbing is not without its risks.

A climber would fall to his death after a rock fall severed his rope in South Wales. Kieran Strudwick of East Sussex would die in an accident. Strudwick was climbing at the time with his friend Tom Haynes. Both were going up the Dolmen Ridge of Glyder Fach mountain. These were experienced rock climbers, too. While moving through the Snowdonian ridge, both Strudwick and Haynes had proper safety equipment.

But they still ran into trouble. When the rock fall happened, both men were just moving past what is called “The Ramp.” It is a particularly hard part of their climb, too. Haynes would call out “rock fall” to Strudwick. Now, he closed his eyes while the rocks went over him. But Strudwick could be seen by Haynes falling past him. At the time, Strudwick was further along the path. He would hit the side of the mountain as he was falling. Haynes would call for help while he went down the mountain himself.