Climber Dies in Zion National Park

Unroped man fell 80 feet

The Iron Messiah climb (not pictured here) is considered difficult, rated 5.10. (Kelnkelp/Thinkstock)

A 47-year-old California man died from injuries sustained in a rock-climbing fall at Zion National Park on Sunday, according to a Park Service press release. Christopher Spencer had been climbing Iron Messiah, a challenging 5.10 route, with a partner.

The climbers were on an easy fifth-class approach when Spencer fell backwards approximately 80 feet down the slope. He was not roped in or wearing a helmet at the time of the fall. Spencer was evacuated by helicopter to a nearby hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Spencer’s fall was the fourth fatal accident in Zion National Park this year and the eighth fatal climbing accident there since 1983.

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