Two men have died in a climbing accident in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges, with a retrieval operation set to begin, police say.
The alarm was raised shortly after 1pm on Sunday at the Moonarie Climbing Area after other climbers noticed the men’s empty campsite, according to media reports.
The bodies of a 62-year-old man from Norwood and a 44-year-old man from Fairview Park were spotted at the bottom of a cliff at Wilpena Pound.
Experienced climber Rob Baker told the ABC the two men had been found roped together, “which indicates an anchor failure”.
“There is always a chance a piece of gear or protection might fall out of the rock,” he said.
“All the protection we use is rated professional standards [and] gear breakage is, an extremely rare event … [but] sometimes it, you know, accidents happen.”
He said it was only the second fatal accident in 40 years of climbing at Moonarie.
STAR officers have arrived at Wilpena Pound from Adelaide to begin the recovery of a 62y/o man and 44y/o man believed to have fallen while rock climbing at Moonarie Gap @9NewsAdel pic.twitter.com/HzUuDGJ79v
— Natarjsha Kramer (@NatarjshaKramer) August 12, 2019
Tactical police flew into the region on Monday morning, where they will be assisted by local patrols and SES volunteers. The area is extremely remote and in inaccessible terrain.
The men’s families had requested privacy, police said.