Climber falls 90 feet, dies at North Carolina state park

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SURRY COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) – A woman was killed in a climbing accident at a North Carolina state park on Monday afternoon, authorities have confirmed.

The woman, a 30-year-old resident of Durham, was climbing at Pilot Mountain State Park when she fell 90 feet to the ground, said Kevin Key, of Surry County Emergency Services.

Rescue crews were called to the area around 4 p.m. A spokesperson for the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation said paramedics arrived within minutes.

“She fell from the top of the climbing route below the parking lot overlook,” said spokesperson Katie Hall, according to the Associated PRess. “These are some of the tallest climbing routes.”

Rescue personnel tried to save the woman, but her injuries were too severe and she died at the scene.

The woman’s identity has not been released.


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Pilot Mountain State Park is well-known for its climbing routes, making it a popular destination among climbers in the area, including the Carolina Climbers Coalition. Even they, however, acknowledge the hobby can be dangerous.

“You could be seriously injured or die,” the group writes in its online guidebook to Pilot Mountain.

Experienced climbers, too, can face difficulty on the climbing routes. In 2012, a 70-year-old man described as an experienced climber fell more than 50 feet during a rock-climbing trip and was later found dead in the park.

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