SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, May 22, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake County Search and Rescue has released photos and more details about the recovery of a climber who died in a fall Saturday morning on Mount Olympus.
Unified Police officials earlier identified the man as 54-year-old James Roache and said he died from injuries he sustained in a 100-foot fall as he and a friend were preparing to do a rock climb.
Search and Rescue volunteers were called out Saturday at 9 a.m. to help the two climbers on the approach to the West Slabs of Mount Olympus, SLCOSAR said in a Facebook post.
“The two were near the base of the Slabs route when one of them slipped on steep snow. He slid a considerable distance before hitting rocks below and dropping into a narrow space between a wall of rock and deep snow which had melted away from the wall. The climber did not survive the fall.”
SAR sent a team of rescuers on foot to the accident site and “inserted two others by helicopter hoist,” the post says.
James Roache’s male climbing partner, who has not been identified, was airlifted off the mountain, and Roache’s body was recovered and moved to a location from which it could be hoisted off the mountain.
The recovery effort took six hours.
Life Flight and the Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau assisted with the rescue and recovery.
“We are grateful to the climbers and guides who were near the scene and helped or offered assistance. We express sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased climber,” SLCOSAR said in the post.
Roache’s body was the second to be recovered from northern Utah mountains, after the remains of 31-year-old Brent Rane were found Friday morning. Ranes had failed to return from a hike Thursday in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
The photos below, from the Salt Lake County SAR Facebook page, show the terrain and conditions on the West Slabs Approach as the SAR team worked to recover the fallen climber.