Climber dies from fall near Grinnell Point

FLATHEAD COUNTY

POSTED: 6:23 PM Jul 25 2013   UPDATED: 6:40 PM Jul 25 2013
glacier national park
WEST GLACIER, Mont. -

The following is a press release from Glacier National Park:

Glacier National Park Rangers recovered the body of Matthew Needham, a 21-year old male from Simi Valley, California, Thursday afternoon, July 25, near Grinnell Point in the northeast area of the park.  The individual was climbing the mountain with two other climbers when he fell at least 60 feet to his death.  

At approximately 11:18 a.m. today, 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 recovery the body. Death was confirmed by rangers at approximately 2:30 p.m.

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.