Climber Dies From Fall in Glacier Park

By Beacon Staff

Glacier National Park Rangers recovered the body of a 21-year old male Thursday afternoon near Grinnell Point in the northeast area of the park.

Matthew Needham from Simi Valley, Calif., was climbing the mountain with two other climbers when he fell at least 60 feet to his death.

At approximately 11:18 a.m. Thursday, park dispatch received a report from a Glacier Park Boat Company employee that a climber fell 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.

Park rangers traveled to the vicinity of the incident by helicopter via Minute Man Aviation and located the climber’s body this afternoon. A 100-foot long line helicopter operation was utilized to recover the body.

All three members of the climbing party are employees of the park’s concessioner Glacier Park, Inc. and work 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.

Thursday’s incident is the fourth death reported in Glacier this summer. Cody Lee Johnson’s body was recovered near The Loop along the Going-to-the-Sun Road on July 12. The 25-year-old Kalispell man had been missing for nearly a week before he was found.

On Tuesday, July 9, Cesar Flores, Jr. of Davie, Fla., died while climbing Apikuni Mountain. He fell roughly 1,000 feet.

On Wednesday, June 26, Charles Fred Huseman of Packwood, Wash., was hiking along the Highline Trail near Logan Pass when he slipped and fell to his death on to the Sun Road.

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