Rock strike, fall from ladder kills visitor at Bandelier

March 24, 2022 GMT

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) — A visitor was fatally injured at Bandelier National Monument when struck by a falling rock while climbing ladders to reach a canyon alcove, monument officials.

The visitor fell about 30 feet (9 meters) after being struck Wednesday while climbing the second of the four ladders used to the reach the Alcove House, officials said in a statement.

The visitor died while being lowered to the ground with ropes and a litter, and resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful, the statement said.

The victim’s identity wasn’t released.

Alcove House will be closed until further notice while the incident is investigated, the statement said.

According to the monument’s website, the Alcove House was once home to approximately 25 Ancestral Pueblo people and is 140 feet (43 meters) above the floor of Frijoles Canyon, reachable by four ladders and stone stairs.

The monument is 22.5 miles (36 kilometers) west of Santa Fe.