LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Los Angeles man died Saturday at Death Valley National Park, falling about 100 feet to his death after a rockslide swept him over a ledge during a climbing expedition at Deimos Canyon.
Justin Ibershoff, 38, was rappelling with six friends when the incident occurred, according to a joint news release from the National Park Service and the Inyo County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities said Ibershoff was descending a steep, rocky slope when “he apparently stepped on a rock that moved, triggering a rockslide that swept him past two companions and over the edge of the 95-foot-tall dry fall.”
Ibershoff and the other canyoneers in the group were very experienced, and most had descended Deimos Canyon before, according to the news release.
Inyo County search-and-rescue and Death Valley park rangers were assisted by helicopters from California Highway Patrol and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Crew from the Navy’s VX-31 helicopter were able to reach Mr. Ibershoff a few hours after the accident and establish that he had died.
Inyo County and CHP recovered Ibershoff’s body on Sunday.
The National Park Service said conditions in that area of the canyon remain unstable and canyoneers should avoid the upper section of Deimos Canyon.