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Two climbers hospitalized after fall at Stone Mountain Park

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Photo courtesy of Charlotte Sloan

ROARING GAP, N.C. — Two rock climbers from Raleigh remained in the hospital Sunday after falling about 60 feet the day before at Stone Mountain State Park.

Charlie Peek, a spokesman for the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, told the Winston-Salem Journal that Lisa Bacon, 31, and Brian Safofsky, 35, were hospitalized with multiple injuries after the fall.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center had Bacon listed as an intensive-care patient and Safofsky as a day hospital patient as of Sunday night.

Peek said the accident was reported about 4:45 p.m. Saturday after the climbing partners fell about 60 feet from the Stone Mountain face to the base of the mountain. He said Safofsky was apparently trying to lower Bacon from one area of the mountain to another when she fell and he was pulled down as well.

Bacon was taken by an Air Care helicopter to Wake Forest Baptist, while Safofsky was taken by ground.

“They had multiple injuries, mostly involving broken bones,” Peek said.

The accident was reported by others at the park.

“There’s climbers all over that mountain … so they would have had people close to them,” Peek said.

Donald Francis, an assistant chief of Traphill Volunteer Fire Department, said members of the fire department, paramedics and park rangers carried Bacon about 400 to 500 yards on a backboard to reach the emergency helicopter.

“The base of that mountain is very easily accessible,” Peek said.

Traphill Fire Department, Wilkes EMS, Wilkes Rescue, Alleghany Rescue and Austin Fire Department responded to the incident, Francis said.

Stone Mountain State Park straddles the Wilkes and Alleghany county lines.

Peek said park officials will continue to investigate the cause of the fall.