Local News

Cary man dies in rock-climbing accident

Posted July 10, 2012

— A Cary man died Sunday while rock-climbing with friends at Hanging Rock State Park, officials said Tuesday.

Eric Metcalf, 19, was rappelling off a portion of the park in Stokes County known as Moore's Wall at about 7:30 p.m. when he fell 270 feet, said Charlie Peek, spokesman for the state Division of Parks and Recreation.

His body was recovered about an hour later, Peek said.

The incident remains under investigation, Peek said, but he said it's possible officials will never determine why Metcalf, who was an experienced climber, fell.


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  • LordHelpUsAll Jul 11, 2012

    May his soul soar on the wings of eagles. RIP young man.

  • Hammerhead Jul 10, 2012

    I fully expect that I will still be WW kayaking, mtn biking and backpacking in the high country when I'm 60, not to mention still capable of lifting very heavy things and spending my free time cutting firewood, working in my yard, etc. Aging is inevitable, but it can be put off for a very long time.

  • westernwake1 Jul 10, 2012

    My prayers and best wishes to Eric's family and friends. A tragic loss of a great young man.

  • TechRescue Jul 10, 2012

    "Us older people can think of other things to do on weekends."

    I'm 55 and I spent last weekend 40-ft up a rescue tower. Then I came home and took a long ride on the motorcycle. That's a choice, but it's selfish to try to impose your choices on everyone else. I'm sure age will be a limitation at some point, but too many people use it as an excuse.

    Eric sounds like my kind of young man - someone who worked hard (Eagle Scout) and who loved life. As they struggle with their loss, I hope his parents pause to reflect on the way he enriched their lives and those around him.

    I have two girls -they've ridden motorcycles, wakeboards, hydrofoils, parachutes, bungee cords, and ATVS, and done a variety of sports from soccer to gymnastics. A life spent on the couch is a waste of a life.

  • NCHighlander Jul 10, 2012

    I've climbed there. Tragic loss. A fun sport but unforgiving of mistakes.

  • djofraleigh Jul 10, 2012

    The kid died doing what he loved to do. I hope I do the same. -- comment

    Yeah, me too, but in bed. The young have the energy. This is a tragic accident.

    Us older people can think of other things to do on weekends. The last time I walked up to the top of Hanging Rock (Stokes Co.) I was in my thirties and would have given a hundred bucks for a drink machine to have been up there. Someone just fell of Stone Mt. in Wilkes Co. this summer, again.

    My guess is that while repelling (alone?) he spun about hitting his head (did he have head gear?) and lost his right hand grip. We may never know, but climbers hold their lives in their hands. He was an adult and it was his choice to take a calculated risk. I respect that, but wish he could have lived to do bigger and better things. He must have been a brave, dynamic young man with a bright future. Better this accident than a car wreck, as if that is a comfort to any of us. May the family find a way to cope with this tragic loss.

  • deastwood1 Jul 10, 2012

    Prayers and Thoughts to his family and friends!

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jul 10, 2012

    A very dangerous hobby.

  • oldandgrumpy Jul 10, 2012

    The kid died doing what he loved to do. I hope I do the same.

  • Skywatch_NC Jul 10, 2012

    Prayers and thoughts with Eric's family, friends and fellow climbers.