Rock climber killed in fall at Joshua Tree

March 16, 2009 11:49:56 AM PDT
Authorities say a 67-year-old rock climber fell to his death after losing his grip on a steep rockface at Joshua Tree National Park. A second climber was injured. Park spokesman Joe Zarki said Monday that Curtis Stark of Riverside was killed around 4 p.m. Sunday when he fell from the Great Burrito rock formation. He died at the scene.

The second climber, Alfred Kuok of Claremont, sustained broken ribs and back injuries.

Zarki says Stark, the lead climber, became dehydrated and was losing strength during a descent when he lost his grip. His equipment designed to halt a fall failed and he struck Kuok.

Kuok's equipment prevented his fall.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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