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Rock Climber Dies in Joshua Tree National Park

When they put weight onto the webbing anchor, something happened and they fell around 20 metres

A rock climber died in Joshua Tree National Park last weekend, the second such death at the popular climbing area this year.

Tina Lynn Fiori, 55, an experienced climber, fell over 20 metres on Saturday near Sheep Pass Campground. The National Park Service confirmed the woman’s identity in a press release Tuesday afternoon.  “Our hearts go out to Ms. Fiori’s family and friends during this extremely painful time,” Joshua Tree park Superintendent David Smith said in the release.

Fiori was climbing Turkey Terror, a 5.9 on Wailing Sax Wall, with a group visiting the area celebrating someone’s birthday. Fiori and the group had been top-roping the climb using their own equipment for the day.

She went to clean the anchor at the end of the day, using the nylon webbing that had been left by another party to rappel from. The webbing broke when she weighted it.

Fiori’s death is the second in Joshua Tree National Park this year. San Diego schoolteacher Michael Spitz, 35, died while free-solo climbing on Jan. 16. His body was found at the base of the Sentinel Wall. He was climbing the Illusion Dweller 5.10b, which he’d soloed many times before.