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Ice Climber Dies In Vail


by Unknown

January 09, 2002

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

An international mountain climber and paramedic from the Fort Collins area died in a freak accident Saturday (January 5, 2002) while ice-climbing near Vail.

Rod Willard, 42, of Loveland, was killed when he was hit by a large chunk of ice dislodged by a climber above him. Eagle County Sheriff Deputy Mike McWilliam said Willard was wearing a helmet while belaying - or holding onto the safety rope of - another climber. A piece of ice roughly 3-feet-by-3-feet fell off the face 50 feet above Willard and landed on his forehead.

The accident occurred in an area known as The Fang, a frozen waterfall east of Vail, south of Interstate 70 in the White River National Forest, McWilliam said.

Willard was treated by fellow climbers, then taken to Vail Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 3:20 p.m. Saturday. He suffered massive injuries to his head and spinal column, McWilliam said.

Read more at The Denver Post.

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