▶ The pair were on Lily Rock, a challenging granite face also known as Tahquitz Rock
Two mountain climbers, Tae-ung Dan and Kwan Kam, fell to their deaths on July 16 while scaling a popular rock face in the San Jacinto Wilderness near Idyllwild, according to information from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department..
The deadly mishap happened about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, said Sgt. Terry Meadows of the sheriff’s office. A 65-year-old hiker died Saturday on a trail in the area after suffering chest pains.
The two men, both believed to be between ages 30 and 50, were climbing Lily Rock, a well-known but challenging granite face that towers 8,000 feet above sea level.
One climber apparently hurt his foot and his friend came to offer help, but both eventually fell, possibly 100 feet or more, Meadows said.
"Both victims were on the same rope line," he said.
Other climbers also were scaling the mountain and at least one witnessed the mishap and used a cellular phone to call authorities, he said.
A helicopter removed one body before nightfall, and Mountain Rescue hikers carried the other down after darkness hit.
Lily Rock, also known as Tahquitz Rock, has proved dangerous repeatedly over the years. The challenging climbing spot is a white granite outcropping clearly visible from Idyllwild and Highway 243.
Rescuers have said that Tahquitz Rock was not forgiving to inexperienced climbers.
In 1994, three people fell in a week. One of them, age 24, died when he jumped from one rock to another and the second rock gave way. He fell 800 feet. Earlier in the week, two brothers fell, one about 100 feet and the other about 50 feet. Rescuers saved them from a second fall of 200 feet. Still, they suffered critical injuries. The brothers, ages 18 and 21, had both climbed the rock several times before.
In 1996, a 39-year-old climber broke an ankle when he fell about 150 feet.