FRUITA, Colo. — A 67-year-old climber died following a fall from Independence Monument at the Colorado National Monument south of Fruita.
On Saturday just before noon, rangers at the Colorado National Monument learned that a 67-year-old climber had fallen while scaling Independence Monument, according to the National Parks Service.
The rangers, along with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Mesa County Search and Rescue, and Lower Valley Fire District, responded to the area.
The rescuers hiked and climbed several miles to the location to reach the climber, who had died of his injuries, the NPS said.
He was identified on Tuesday morning as Andrew Whiteside, of Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland.
Colorado National Monument rangers are continuing to investigate the incident.
The Mesa County Coroner’s Office determined the cause of death was blunt force injuries and the manner of death was accidental.
Independence Monument is a 450-foot fin that requires climbers to place their safety gear as they climb. Gear set improperly can result in a fall, so only experienced climbers are encouraged to try to climb it, according to Visit Grand Junction.