Climbing Accident in Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park Climbing

Maryne Shephard enjoys the ocean views at Otter Cliffs, Acadia National Park, Maine. [Photo] Matt Richter

A climbing guide suffered severe injuries at Acadia National Park when he fell 40 feet around 1:30 p.m. on Champlain Mountain’s┬áSouth Wall near the Precipice Trail. The two clients he had with him did not fall and received no injuries. No names or details are being released about the fall at the moment. What we do know is that the guide was wearing a helmet but still suffered head injuries. There is also a possibility that he damaged his spine. The exact reason why the guide fell is still unknown. The injured guide was loaded into a litter and carried to an ambulance that was waiting on Park Loop Road. He was then taken by ambulance to the Sand Beach parking lot and carried into a LifeFlight helicopter that transferred him to the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

Two other serious falls have occurred recently within Acadia National Park. In mid June a climbing rope broke sending a local guide and his client falling for 25 feet and landing on another climber below. All three climbers were wearing helmets. The guide was unharmed while his client fractured an elbow and injured his head. The woman who was hit by the falling climbers is believed to have dislocated or fractured her hip. It appears the rope snapped because it was rubbing against a sharp rock.

Last April, a climber fell on the South Wall. He fell about 20-25 feet and was not wearing a helmet. He had set two anchors and the top-most anchor broke free from the force of the fall. This left an excessive amount of rope for the second anchor to catch him before he hit the ground. The climber never lost consciousness but sustained severe injuries.

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