Climber Dies In Fall At Glacier National Park

For the second time this summer, a concessions worker at Glacier National Park has died in a climbing accident.

Park officials said the 21-year-old California man was climbing near Grinnell Point with two others.

Rangers recovered the body of Matthew Needham, of Simi Valley, California, Thursday afternoon, park officials said in a release. He had fallen at least 60 feet.

Park dispatchers received a call shortly before 11:30 a.m. Thursday from a Glacier Park Boat Company employee that a climber had fallen from below Grinnell Point. A group of eight hikers later reported they found the climber, but did not see signs of life. The area in which the fall took place is very steep, with cliffs and rocky terrain, the release said.

Park rangers traveled to the vicinity of the incident by helicopter via Minute Man Aviation and located the climber’s body Thursday afternoon. A 100-foot-long-line helicopter operation was utilized to recovery the body. Death was confirmed by rangers at approximately 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

All three members of the climbing party were employees of the park’s concessioner Glacier Park, Inc. and worked at the Many Glacier Hotel. Grinnell Point is located near Lake Josephine in the Many Glacier Valley.

The Glacier County Coroner confirmed death and the body will be transported to a local funeral home. The incident is under investigation by the National Park Service.

Early this month another concessions employee died in a 1,000-foot fall in the same general area of the park.