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Accident in Bell's Canyon

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Trevor · · Cottonwood Heights, UT · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 180

Not much info in the article-…

sfotex · · Sandy, UT · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 225

It was a lead fall on the 4th pitch of the beast.
It was a local climber that was killed.

Eric Hardester · · Provo, Utah · Joined May 2013 · Points: 111…

They ID'd the man who fell. Michael Lydon.
John Ross · · Wasatch Front, UT · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 2,580

Another report today. Condolences to those who knew him.

D Condit · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 95

Mike Lydon was a great climber who always pushed hard. He twice pushed/encouraged me to a new best/hardest climb. He was also a great C-130 pilot and dedicated career Air Force officer. Sad to see him go early...he will be missed.

Mr. Wonderful · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 10
sfotex wrote:It was a lead fall on the 4th pitch of the beast. It was a local climber that was killed.
So do you know something different than the news sources that report it was a rappelling accident?
Justin Grisham · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 10

Sfotex has it right.
He was leading easy terrain at the very top of the climb. He had not placed any protection after leaving the belay. It is unclear why he fell. He took a long factor two fall onto the belay. His climbing partner performed a very well executed self rescue in an attempt to render aid.
Myself and another rescuer will be writing up a long accident report after we interview parties involved and examine the gear recovered.
Climb safe,

James Garrett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2005 · Points: 4,762

I am so sad to hear the tragic news. Mike was a kindred spirit who shared passions for multi-activity days, multi-pitch routes, and skiing powder. Being an international Delta pilot, he was always into packing as much adventure into his off days. We shared many fun days in the mountains together and I miss so much that we in his mountain community won't get those spontaneous calls and texts to get after it for more fun on our wish list. My deepest condolences to his family and his children who he was just starting to do so many rock climbs and mountain adventure travels with here in the Wasatch and all over the West. Such a sad loss. I feel so fortunate to have met him relatively soon after his transfer to Utah. I will listen for his quiet demeanor on the other side of that ridgeline this winter.

manuel rangel · · Arizona · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 3,992

Mike was an old climbing partner and good friend. He will be missed.

I'm glad I got to reconnect with him at my 60th birthday. We shared some adventures many years ago. He was a strong leader and great climber. It saddens me to hear of his accident.

Vaya con Dios, amigo. My condolences to his family.

Bill M · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 317

Some very experienced climbers have been taken out on easy terrain. My condolences.

David DuBois · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 5

Mike was an acquaintance, everyone is reeling from the loss.

Yes, he was leading the fourth pitch of Bell's Beast. I have a question, maybe someone can answer: From reports -and mentioned above- he was on "easy" terrain at the top of the climb. Given the route description, there's a double-overhanging 5.11 roof on the last pitch. From what I've heard, he had about 30 feet of rope out, no protection in place. Would he have been topped-out 30 feet from the last belay station? Or still dealing with the overhangs? I've never been on the route, just wondering. How does the press characterize this as a rappelling accident?! It was clearly a lead fall.

Stan Pitcher · · SLC, UT · Joined Oct 2002 · Points: 210

Very sad! My condolences to his family and friends. Didn't know him but looking at his FB photos I'm guessing we crossed paths many times.

Would like to know more details too in time. There are two routes on Bell's Beast according to MP - 'Beauty' with an 11b forth pitch and a "3rd class" top out to a rap station and 'Beast' with an 11a forth pitch and 5.5 fifth pitch.

Daniel Winder · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 100

Didn't know Mike but it sounds we lost a really great member of the climbing community. Condolences to family and friends, he sounds like a great guy.

Beast has another "easy" pitch after the roofs that most just 3rd class or place no pro. However, the rock up there turns into kitty-litter gravelly shit. Both routes have a walk off.

James Garrett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2005 · Points: 4,762

Sadly, some answers remain a mystery. He was not leading the hard 4th pitch, he was leading the exit Pitch #5 (low angle 5.5 gear or 3rd class for some).

Boissal . · · Small Lake, UT · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 1,406

As others have mentioned the rock quality on top of the Bells is so bad that a fall on 5.5 or even 3rd class terrain isn't inconceivable. All it would take is bad luck and a chunk of kitty litter coming off...
Very sad news. Condolences to family and friends.

runout · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 30

Sad news.

How does one die from factor 2 fall? Was it the sheer impact even though the system held, or did he have trauma during the fall?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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