11-year-old boy killed in ice climbing at Platte Clove

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11-year-old boy killed in ice climbing at Platte Clove

New postby dave » Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:14 pm

On Saturday, February 29, 2020, around 3-to-4 pm, a 11-year-old boy died after falling 300' in Platte Clove after ice climbing. The boy was climbing with his father, three other adults, and two other children on "The Dark Side". The Dark Side of Platte Clove is on the south side Plattekill Creek, which runs through the Devil's Kitchen and lower part of Platte Clove. It is on the upper parts of the clove between Bridal Veil Falls and the Black Chasm. The Dark Side has two sections called the upper and lower parts of the ravine. See image below.

Everyone in the group had proper climbing gear with knowledgeable adults. All of them had ropes, crampon, helmets, harnesses, etc. The group had finished climbing for the day, and started to head back to the climbers trail between Platte Clove road and Overlook Mountain. There is a particular section of the climber trail that is very dangerous. The adults had setup a rope between two trees for everyone to use as a safety rope. For some reason, the boy slipped and started to fall. Sadly, the boy let go of the rope and tumbled 300' down into the bottom of the ravine near Devil's Kitchen.

A call to 911 brought DEC Rangers, Twin Clove rope rescue teams, Palenville Fire Department, State Police, Hunter Police, and Sheriff's department. LifeNet helicopter was called in for an extraction. The helicopter landed in the lower fields of Platte Clove, but returned once it was determined that the boy was deceased. Around 6 pm it became dark, and it was decided that it was too dangerous to extract the boy in the dark. This particular section is difficult to repel down into, and an extraction would be difficult. A decision was made to extract him on Sunday. Around 2pm on Sunday, he was extracted from Platte Clove.

Earlier in the week, when it was much warmer, many ice climber decided to end ice climbing for the season. But, over the past couple of days it has been exceptionally cold. The Dark Side is known to keep ice much longer then other regions, because it stays in the dark longer then other areas. We should note that weather didn't play a role in this accident. It is our opinion that the ice was solid enough for climbing.

At this time we have chosen to not release any of the names of the group that was involved. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family for this exceedingly sad story.

Update (03/02/2020): We have been informed that the other adults in the group were NYS Licensed Professional Guides from New Paltz. The names and injuries have been released, but we have chosen to not publish them due to the young man's age.

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