Teen rescued after fall from cliff

A 17-year-old male was sent to Winchester Medical Center after plummeting about 40 feet during a Monday rock climbing expedition.

Warren County Fire and Rescue Capt. Raymond Cross said crews were dispatched to a trail in the Buzzard Rock area of the county in response to a climber who fell off a cliffside and had landed on a rocky surface. Cross said he could not reveal the nature of injuries, but that the teen has since been released from the hospital.

Cross noted that the teen was an experienced climber and was harnessed but “something went wrong and I’m not sure exactly what that was.”

Cross said that the teen was rescued from the steep embankment using a rope pulley system. Once he was brought up the bank, Cross said fire and rescue crews had to hand carry the teen down a four-mile trail in a Stokes basket. He was then placed in an ambulance and transported to the hospital.

About 21 fire and rescue workers responded, Cross said, along with three Warren County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Strasburg Fire and Rescue and Stephens City medical crews. He added that a few hikers also assisted in the rescue.

Cross said one reason so many rescue workers responded was because it would be difficult to carry what he estimated a 180-pound teen down a narrow path that had numerous obstacles.

Although such falls are not too unusual, Cross estimated that rescue crews respond to similar incidents about three times a year. He said that anyone who is climbing should “just be safe and use caution” to avoid any such accidents.