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Florida man dies in fall on steep slope in Glacier park

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The sun rises over the summit of Rising Wolf Mountain. PHOTO BY JACOB W. FRANK / NPS

The bodies of two Montana men recovered from a climbing accident that occurred over the weekend


WEST GLACIER – A 79-year-old Florida man died in a fall in Glacier National Park while he was trying to scramble up an off-trail slope with a group of friends, park officials said Tuesday.

The incident happened Monday morning on Rising Wolf Mountain, several hundred feet above the Two Medicine Campground in the southeastern part of the park, spokesperson Gina Kerzman said.

The friends descended to the victim’s location, yelled down to the campground for help and called 911. National Park Service staff responded.

A search helicopter operated by Two Bear Air, which had been working to recover the bodies of two men who had died in a climbing accident several days earlier, was temporarily diverted to help with the rescue.

The helicopter transported the unconscious man to the Two Medicine Ranger Station where an air ambulance was waiting. The air ambulance crew declared the man dead, authorities said.

The man’s name and hometown are being withheld until family members can be notified.

The bodies of the two 67-year-old Montana men who died in a fall on Dusty Star Mountain in the park’s interior were also recovered Monday, Kerzman said.

Brian McKenzie Kennedy of Columbia Falls and Jack Dewayne Beard of Kalispell were expert climbers who had been summiting mountain peaks in Glacier park for decades, park officials said in releasing their names Tuesday. Both were members of the Glacier Mountaineering Society, the park said in a statement.

The men had set out for a climb on July 22 and were to return the next day. They were reported missing July 24 and their bodies were spotted from a search helicopter Monday morning.

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