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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Glacier National Park reports three climbing deaths over three days

The mountains of the Livingston Range can be seen in the background of this 2021 photo from Glacier National Park.    (Justin Franz/For The Washington Post)
By Gabe Hiatt Washington Post

A 79-year-old man from Florida suffered a fatal fall from an off-trail mountain slope Monday at Glacier National Park, the National Park Service said.

The same day that visitor died in an incident on Rising Wolf Mountain, the National Park Service reported it had recovered the bodies of two experienced mountaineers, both 67-year-old men from Montana, after they were reported missing and identified Sunday on Dusty Star Mountain at the same park.

As of Wednesday morning, officials at the park had not identified the man from Florida.

The men from Montana were Brian McKenzie Kennedy from Columbia Falls and Jack Dewayne Beard from Kalispell. Both were considered “expert climbers” and had been ascending mountains at Glacier National Park for decades, the park service said in a statement.

The Florida man was climbing with friends above the Two Medicine Campground on Rising Wolf Mountain when he fell. Park officials got a helicopter to transport him to a ranger station, where emergency-responders declared the death.

“Many accidents occur when people fall after stepping off trails or roadsides or venturing onto very steep slopes,” the park’s website says, advising visitors to “stay on designated trails and don’t go beyond protective fencing or guardrails.”

Glacier National Park, which features 700 miles of hiking trails, is in the northern part of Montana. Father south, Yellowstone National Park and its gateway towns are still recovering from historic flooding that swept away roads that could take years and upward of $1 billion to repair.