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Rock Climbing : News : Accidents and Injuries : 2 climbers die at the Red River Gorge

2 climbers die at the Red River Gorge

Submitted by p_mcdermott on 2008-11-06

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.   Votes: 2 | Comments: 12 | Views: 10819

by Peter McDermott

2 climbers were found dead Tuesday, November 4 at the base of a climb at Global Village in the Red River Gorge. No details yet as to how they died except that it was climbing related. The climbers Benjamin E. Strohmeier and Laura Fletcher were found by friends on Tuesday after they hadn't returned from climbing on Monday. A memorial is being planned at some point in the gorge but no specifics as of yet. An investigation is also underway as to the cause of death. More info will be posted as it becomes available. Our condolences go out to the families and friends of the two climbers.

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5 out of 5 stars according to the <a href="">Lexington News</a>,
they might have been rapping off an old piece of webbing that failed. Simul-rapping maybe? Or possible one rapping while the other was anchored to the webbing?
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My condolences to the families. Most of us with many climbs under our belt under our belt are cringing because have come to belay stations with old webbing and thought twice about using it. My first guess is they were rapping down on a single anchor, but the detailed report should give the details.
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Very sad story. My condolences and prayers to the families.
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Very sad indeed. My heart goes out to the families.
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My condolences and thoughts go out to the friends and family. Always a sad day in the climbing community when one of our own pass on doing what they love.

Very Sad.
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how unfortunate. :(

i think this guy might have taken a few of our pizza orders at miguels this summer.

its kind of weird to think that I've climbed there. My climbing partner thinks the route was howard roark.
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yeah all this is kind of a sore subject at this point. Please be respectful for the families and friends. The climbing community at hand has suffered a terrible loss. Peace.
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I hate to hear about this. It breaks my heart to know that something so tragic could happen in such a beatuiful place. But it also is a time that allows us to get a true vision of the bigger picture. What are we as a community doing to ensure the safety of fellow climbers, and friends? My love goes out to the family, and friends of those that perished.
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I'm new here, writing to let Ben and Laura's friends and loved ones in Kentucky and Indiana and elsewhere know that their lives have now intersected with mine, 800 miles away, and I am holding them (and all of you here) in my heart as I try to respect and celebrate the climbers' lives by trying to understand what happened.

I've read through a long thread on another site, and I'll pass along what seemed to be the wisest comment: let's all recommit ourselves to safety practices out there, somebody wrote, and model safety first when we climb.

Masocko, I hear you, and I'm not sure that we can ensure the safety of our fellow climbers, but I do think that by our attitudes and practices we can display our core values: safety and adventure, but respecting safety is mandatory. I guess I'm thinking of an attitude that is something along the lines of what I have carried with me as a mountaineer: the absolute commitment, within myself, under any and all circumstances, that getting to the summit is optional, but getting down safely is mandatory, and it is my responsibility. Maybe we can adapt this effectively for rock climbing, in a way that does not pretend to ignore the risks we all freely accept in return for the promise of the adventure, the joy, the "prana," we seek and yearn to express.

There was another minor but much-repeated sequence of community-focused comments on other sites that I'll repeat here. Many people wanted to remind fellow climbers to carry a knife and new tubular webbing at all times.

Finally, I registered some confusion over disagreement in other communitites as to whether it is important to understand the facts of a climbing accident. Even though I'm new here, I just thought I would say that, as somebody who caem to rock climbing along an alpine path, I've trained myself with three regularly updated bibles always at hand: one is "Freedom of the Hills," another is "Climbing Anchors," and the third is "Accidents in North American Mountaineering." Analyzing accidents has been an important and helpful part of my life and the life of my climbing teachers and guides for the 20 years that I've been out there doing the stuff that I love. It is one way the climbing community has honored its fallen, not by blaming but by being humble in the face of accidents involving very experienced and skilled people like Ben and by recommitting ourselves to lifelong learning about the art, the craft and the adventure sport that we love so much.
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Too Bad! I feel for the families and hope they understand that they really did pass by living a dream and doing what they wanted to do in this free world!
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3 out of 5 stars Very tragic indeed. I feel for the families.
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yeah this is and was deep condolences to both of their families. It's been almost two weeks now and it's still unreal to me...I was climbing with Laura a week before she passed. She was an amazing girl and I'm sure Ben was an amazing person as well. once again my heart goes out to both of their families, friends, and everyone else who was affected.

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