Rock climber dies after fall in Sandia Mountains - Albuquerque Journal

Rock climber dies after fall in Sandia Mountains

A rock climber died after falling about 140 feet in the Sandia Mountains on Saturday morning, according to the Bernalillo County Fire Department.

Agency spokesman Marcelino Martinez said numerous law enforcement and search and rescue agencies attempted to recover the body throughout the day but called off the operation around 7 p.m. due to rain.

He said they will begin again this morning.

Around 10:30 a.m., a group of rock climbers called 911 to say one of their friends had fallen at the Clandestine Wall, a climbing area on the western side of the mountains, north of the Sandia Crest.

“They reported that one of the subjects had fallen down while rappelling due to what appears to have been an equipment malfunction,” said Deputy Johann Jareno, a spokesman for the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office. “We had our helicopter on duty and the helicopter located the subjects.”

He said BCSO, BCFD, New Mexico State Police, and Albuquerque Police Department Open Space units responded to the scene but determined the recovery effort was too technical so search and rescue teams had to be called in. The helicopter also could not reach the person.

Officials have not publicly identified the climber.

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