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UPDATED: 33-year-old Squamish man dies Sunday on the Stawamus Chief

This is the second rock climber to die on the Chief in the last six weeks

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed it is investigating the death of a man in his 30s that occurred on Sunday on the Stawamus Chief.

Squamish RCMP said in a news release Sunday night that police were contacted at 11:30 a.m. Sunday by a climber on the Stawamus Chief. 

The caller said they had observed a group whose lead climber had fallen from the Angel's Crest portion of the north face of the Chief.

Squamish RCMP, Squamish Search and Rescue, and Squamish BC Ambulance members all arrived to find the climber was 200-300 metres up the rock face.

Rescuers told The Chief the climber was on the Zodiac Wall.

There was a small rockfall on the Chief Sunday, but it is unclear at this time whether the climber's fall caused the rockfall, or vice versa.

Because of the complex location and position of the climber, the rescue was very prolonged and technical.

"After a difficult and highly technical extraction the man, a 33-year-old Squamish resident, went into medical distress and died a short time later," said RCMP Sgt. Sascha Banks, in the release. "The climbing community in Squamish is very close and I know it will be a hard loss for everyone. Our thoughts go out to not only the man's friends and family but to the Squamish SAR team who worked tirelessly to help him." 

Squamish SAR president BJ Chute, told The Chief on Monday that this type of rescue is what Squamish SAR trains and is prepared for.

About 25 rescue volunteers were involved, he said, adding some local climbers also helped to get the man to a ledge where rope-rescue SAR members could long-line in by helicopter to get him.

All told, rescuers were on the call until about 11 p.m. Sunday night and were back to retrieve gear at 8 a.m. Monday.

Though the unfortunate ending is not what anyone wants to see, Chute said he was "extremely proud" of the work by the search and rescue team.

Chute noted that two other calls came in Sunday evening, one to the Squamish River that required some of the rescuers involved in the climbing incident, along with fresh members, to head out again. That rescue thankfully turned out to be a non-event, Chute said.

This is the second climber to die on the Stawamus Chief in the last six weeks, Banks noted, and the third Squamish SAR call out for climbers in distress over the last three days. 

Squamish RCMP and other local agencies will be working hard to get the "safe adventuring" messaging out to the affected community, Banks said. 

The Squamish RCMP has handed over the investigation to the BC Coroner's Service but will be assisting the agency in the coming days. If anyone has any information about this incident, contact the Squamish RCMP at 604-892-6100.

**Please note, this story has been updated since it was first posted to include new information. 

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