July 27, 2012
A National Park Service report says a knot failure caused an Alabama rock climber to fall to his death near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia last year.
The report says the nonstandard knot, called a hitch/wrap, was weak. Also, there wasn't a backup to handle the load if any part of the rope climbing system failed.
The News and Advance obtained the report through the Freedom of Information Act.
Twenty-year-old Jonathan Sullivan of Alabaster, Ala., was ascending the cliff face at the Raven's Roost overlook in Nelson County with a group when he fell about 80 feet. The accident occurred on June 15, 2011.