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Joshua Tree Rock Climber Fell To Death, Rope 'Gave Out'

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Photo by indywriter via Flickr
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33-year-old rock climber David Pinegar of Loomis was killed at Joshua Tree National Park on Monday when his rope snapped and he fell 150 feet, according to authorities, reports CBS Local.

Pinegar was climbing with a friend near Saddle Rock off of Ryan Mountain when the accident happened, said a park spokesman. The men were climbing a trail called A Walk on the Wild Side "along a spiny ridge with a 600-foot vertical face," reports the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

After reaching the summit around 1:00 p.m. the men began rappelling down. Pinegar was "in the process of lowering himself when his rope gave out," reports the Riverside Press-Enterprise. His partner had already reportedly reached the ground when the accident occurred.

Joshua Tree Search and Rescue and Park rangers were called to the scene. Pinegar was pronounced dead on the Riverside County side of the park, approximately 160 miles east of Los Angeles. It is reportedly the first park death since March 2009.