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Rock climber killed in fall near state line

It took responders several hours to reach site in national forest

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

EDINBURG -- Rescue personnel were working Friday night to recover the body of a climber who fell "a considerable distance" while rock climbing in George Washington National Forest near Wolf Gap.

The victim was across the West Virginia line in Hardy County, Shenandoah County Sheriff's Maj. Scott Proctor said Friday night. He didn't know how far the unidentified man had fallen, but said it had been "a considerable distance."

"We were dispatched around 3 p.m.," Proctor said. "It took several hours to get EMS personnel and law enforcement to the actual scene."

He said the incident was first reported to be in the area of Big Schloss, but it actually happened south of there.

As of 8 p.m., emergency workers were still trying to retrieve the man's body.
Proctor said at least two climbers had been scaling a rock face near the state line when one fell. The location was north of Judge Rye Road, a forest service road west of Columbia Furnace, Proctor said.

From the parking area off of Judge Rye Road, it was at least an hour's walk for law-enforcement and emergency services officers to reach the rock-climbing spot, he said.

"Our personnel have reported it was a death," he said. "They're in recovery mode at this point. Everything at this point has been turned over to the West Virginia State Police. We're still on location assisting at this time."

Proctor said Conicville Fire Department, Woodstock police, Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue, the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Park Police, Hardy County Sheriff's Office, and Wardensville, W.Va. police were all at the scene.


Hey Mr. Yew.......Just make sure the total cost for the recovery is sent to their insurance company for all the personnel on OT that were up there just sitting around doing absolutely nothing but drinking coffee all night.

Yeah I think I will stick to hiking around that rock formation instead of trying to go straight up it.

Could you be any more simple?!?

Old Clunker, I'm wondering if you were on scene at the recovery. If not you have no idea what rescuers and police were doing. Do you expect people to be out all night and not be served food and liquids??? An incident commander would be in serious trouble if he or she didn't take care of people in their charge. As I read the article it appears to have been a difficult recovery. Please give the responders a little respect!!!!

yesterdays deal was whatever -didn't even happen in this state--anytime something happens close to the boader our ppl get called out-not A problem to me -but when yew keeps saying we need all this hired help I have to ? it --listen to A scanner 1 time and this is just 2 full timers-engine 2 with 2 going to help someone with A bellyack--so what I'm saying is yew is going to say they responded to so many calls but wanna know how many they were needed at and what they did

Allow me to translate for "Whatever"

The incident yesterday was not in Virginia, often when incidents happen along undefined borders, people from both jurisdictions respond. I don't mind sending our guys to help, but when Chief Yew continues to pressure the BoS for additional staffing I have to question it. I have heard paid firemen respond to potential non-emergency calls in an assisting capacity, tying up resources that could be better used elsewhere or by keeping them available to handle any other emergencies. Chief Yew will try to use statistics to justify his request for staffing but how many of those calls were SCFR staff actually needed on.

@whatever, while I share your sentiment, the best way to win supporters is by not appearing like some backwoods hayseed crossed with a 14yo internet gamer.

Finally a tax payer is responding in the same manner as I. I am sure CCman is a paid member of the Send Co. Fire and Rescue.


You were right on line until you publicly correct a person because they may be a "backwoods hayseed"! Well let me tell you something Bub, these hayseeds were here a long time before you and will be here a long time after.

You sound like a move in and it probably hits the mark or your last name is Rinker. Thant would say a lot in itself. LOL

Im just as much of a hayseed as the rest of yall (my house didn't get an indoor toilet until 1974) and I hope we outlast the NoVa transplants who move here to "get away from it all" only to lobby for the creation of a little Fairfax. Hopefully the demographics of the ShenCo Good Ol Boy network will remain the same, for if it is infiltrated by transplants, we're doomed.

In reference to my admonishment of "whatever" my opinion is this: If you are going to engage in a debate, make your comments clear, concise and in English. By posting his/her opinion in it's original form, it gives a bad name to those of us who can match brain-pans with these "educated city folk" coming from I-66. Further it shows that he/she is either too lazy to compose a sentence in American English or someone who is lacking the education needed for high-school graduation, which is a different can of worms altogether.

A simple spell check and substituting words for numbers would have hammered home a very valid point......I'm just waiting for "LMFAO" to come in and blame this unfortunate incident on the "racist tea party"

All of you should be ashamed. This poor guy is dead, and all you can say about it is to argue politics. Have you no sense of decency?
I volunteer frequently to maintain the back country trails these emergency personnel were trying to use, and can personally testify as to the difficulties they present. Give them all some credit, and a vote of thanks for their efforts.

Looks like the Valley "chip on the shoulder" is alive and well in Rusty. I wonder where all that hate comes from, maybe from not having a normal toilet to use for many years?

A man had lost his life this is a tragic event and to all the people questioning the command personel on the secne i got a few words to add. I once was a volunteer with a rescue squad in Shen. Co and have assisted in a few rescues from this area. Once inital responders find the injured party and stabilize tham then come the task of carrying them out in a litter. From what i understsnd the man was over an hours hike in in very rough and rocky terrian in which an atv will not even go so there has to be enough personel to get the victim out, Its hard enough to walk on a rockey trail much less carry a litter. I would like to give a pat on the back to both Hardy Co. and Shen. Co. for working together to find this man even though hey could not get there in time.


I find it very sad to see anyone did our first responders...especially on a weekend where I am sure they would much rather be in their homes with families. My father was a fireman in Prince George's Co. until he had to retire, and I know what these men & women sacrifice...and the horrors they see...and the lives they save. Have seen them often helping paragliders back here where I live..one who was actually caught in wires which had a helicopter back here waiting for them to get him down. I say shame on YOU for putting them down to try and bring this man home to his family on this holiday weekend...which should remind us all to love one another...not be so negative ....

First of all, when the call came in to the 911 center,it was not know if the person was in VA or Wva. The callers were not sure were they were. Both Shen Co. And WVa were dispatched. Once it was determined that the person was deceased and was in WVa all VA resources were pulled out and the incident turned over to Wva authorities. So no Shen Co fire and EMS personnel sat around all night drinking coffee.
Chief Yew is the Fire Chief for ALL of Shen Co. Fire and EMS.
Paid and volunteer. So when he goes before the BOS to ask for additional personnel, he is doing so on behalf of the volunteer departments that have asked for more coverage.
Unless you are a Native American Indian, we all came here from somewhere else. Whether 300 years ago or 2, we are all immigrants.

He did not have any " respect " for his own chances so why should anyone else. You play, you pay ( or maybe pay). Just like I said, I will keep hiking and living. Climb rocks? No, I think not.


Shame on each and every one of you who have the nerve to criticize either this poor man, or the rescue personnel involved. This man had at least one child in preschool and had everything to live for. I am quite certain that he used every safety precaution at his disposal. He probably lived a good, productive and happy life, which is more than I can say from some miserable creep cowering behind his keyboard all day and night. As for the rescue situation. DO NOT even consider a comment without having carried rescue gear up a mountain. It's easy to sit on your butt and be an armchair quarterback while someone else is out risking life and limb to help someone in distress. God have mercy on your miserable souls.

Thank you, thank you, Karl. Finally someone with a spine!


Howaboutthehotel...Are u so silly as to think u CANNOT have an accident just because u climb AROUND rocks? I assume u drive a car...anyone could have a heart attack, be attacked by wild life..are u going to tell first responders to leave if you have a fire, a car accident or anything else serious? What about family members? I don't think so. You NEVER know when it might be YOU who needs help...please stop bashing our first responders.Thank you to all who returned this VIRGINIA man back to his family..and for the fires u r now fighting

No A W not a paid fireman in Shen. Co. but rather a volunteer in my own community.

Did I say anything negative about first responders? No, I did not. Guess I am also just silly enough to think climbing a mountain on steep inclines(or preferably trails) is a safer way to enjoy life than going straight up 100% vertical rock formations with safety lines! Just playing the numbers.

I am sorry the man died doing what he seemed to love. Thank you to all the fire/rescue and police and sheriffs deputies that helped recover the mans body! May he RIP

So rock climbing is not your activity of choice. It doesn't mean that the person who chooses this is reckless. Adam was not an amateur, NOR was he reckless. Maybe you should yourself consider "RESPECT" as you make such rude and harsh comments in public forum. A man has died; a mother and father have lost their son, a wonderful young woman has lost her husband, an adorable little girl has lost her daddy, and many others have lost someone they considered a dear friend and brother. And you say, "you pay to play", wow?
My Grandmother taught me a very important lesson, that was: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. So, enjoy your hiking. May the peace and solitude the beautiful mountains we have to enjoy allow you plenty of time to reflect on the things you say and how they affect the feelings of others.
God Bless You and your family Adam.

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