Tennessee man dies in climbing accident in Big South Fork


BANDY STREAM – The National Park Service identified the Middle Tennessee man on Monday afternoon who died in a rock climbing accident near Twin Arches on Sunday evening.

Benjamin Kyle Harris, 34, of Columbia, Tennessee, died from 100 feet while free climbing in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area on Sunday. According to BSF Superintendent Niki S. Nicholas, Harris was climbing with a friend when the accident happened. As he changed his grip, he fell 100 feet and died.

Harris’ body was taken to Big South Fork Medical Center in Oneida.

The original story follows …

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BANDY STREAM – A 34-year-old man died in a rock climbing accident on Sunday night in the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area.

According to BSF Superintendent Niki S. Nicholas, the man – from Columbia, Tennessee – was free climbing with a friend when the accident happened. As he changed his grip, he fell 100 feet to the bottom of the cliff and died.

The victim has not been identified, pending notification of family members.

The accident allegedly took place near the Twin Arches in western Scott County.

Columbia is located in Middle Tennessee, south of Nashville.

According to Nicholas, the man’s body was taken to Big South Fork Medical Center in Oneida.

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Rock climbing is a sport that is growing in popularity both in the Big South Fork NRRA and particularly in its sister park, the Obed Wild & Scenic River in Morgan County. Free climbing is a type of climbing that involves climbing without the aid of equipment, with climbers instead relying on their skills and physical abilities to complete the climb. Typically, free climbers use ropes and other equipment to protect themselves from injury in the event of a fall.

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