It took responders several hours to reach site in national forest
By Sally Voth -- firstname.lastname@example.org
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.