1 Texas climber dead, 1 rescued in national park where rock climbing is banned


A climber died and another was stranded over the weekend in a Texas national park where rock climbing is banned.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park was notified on Saturday that a member of a climbing party had fallen off an edge and appeared to be unresponsive.

Search and rescue teams worked from the afternoon through the evening to access the remote site.

Air support was provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety and aircrews from C Company 2-227th MEDEVAC out of Fort Hood.

Additional support was provided by Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Eddy County Fire Department, Carlsbad Fire Department, Dell City Fire Department, firefighters from Olympic National Park, Culberson County Sheriff’s Office and the Culberson County Ambulance Service.    

A rescue team eventually reached the fallen climber on Sunday morning and found that they were deceased. 

The stranded climber was rescued on Sunday morning as well. 

One member of the park’s rescue team sustained an injury and was transported to El Paso for care. 

Access to the Pine Springs area was restricted for emergency traffic during the incident, but has since reopened. 

“Guadalupe Mountains National Park staff are saddened by this tragedy and our entire park community extends sincere condolences to the family and friends of those involved,” Superintendent Eric Leonard said in a statement.

The National Park Service wrote to remind visitors that rock climbing – including the use of technical aids, rappelling or unaided free climbing – is prohibited in all areas of the park. 

The agency explained that most of the rock within Guadalupe Mountains National Park is highly fractured limestone. 

“These conditions are prevalent throughout the park and create loosely jointed rock that is easily dislodged, resulting in dangerous climbing conditions,” it warned.