Climbers rescued at Hanging Rock

By Nicholas Elmes -

A rock climber was rescued at Hanging Rock State Park last week after getting stuck on Moore’s Wall.

Park Superintendent Robin Riddlebarger said the climber got stuck on the rock face after attempting to retrieve expensive safety equipment left on the wall during an earlier ascent.

“Two guys had been climbing all day,” she said. “They were both pretty experienced climbers but they had taken longer than they had planned. They did not want to leave their expensive equipment on the rock so they climbed to the top to rappel down to get their gear. Somehow they ran out of rope and could not rappel all the way down. The guy was at the end of his rope and was tired from climbing all day so they called for help just to be safe.”

Riddlebarger said local emergency crews quickly responded, including the Danbury Fire Department, Sauratown Fire Department, Stokes County EMS, Pilot Mountain Rescue, King Fire Department, Forsyth County Rescue, Emergency Management and High Angle rescue teams.

“We had one crew at the bottom and another crew at the top,” she said. “The top crew was planning on using ropes to come down and get him, but before they even got there the guy slowly inched his way back up.”

She said the climber was able to get to a ledge where he could rest before slowly working his way to the top of the cliff.

“The team helped him get off the mountain after he got up,” said Riddlebarger. “Nobody was hurt.”

She noted that even though the climber was able to rescue himself he had done the right thing by calling for help.

“When in doubt always call for help,” she said. “Do not try to save yourself if you are exhausted and it is the end of the day.”

She also said she was very impressed with the speed and enthusiasm of the rescue crews.

“These guys prepare for situations just like this and they were really willing and able to help,” she said.

Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.

By Nicholas Elmes

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